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Nigerian Microfinance Banks Ready to go Cashless

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Abuja - The National Association of Micro Finance Banks (NAMFB) recently announced that its members are ready to participate in the Federal Government’s cashless policy. The Executive Secretary of the association, Mr. Kabir Yar’Adua, made the disclosure in an interview with the press in Abuja. Speaking to reporters outside of the NAMFB, he noted that the cashless policy was a revolution that would improve the lives of Nigerians, especially those at the grassroots.

He added that “I think this policy is a revolution for us. It is a combination of mobile banking and agency banking which is a bit ahead of even the ATM. The decision is good and it will benefit the market women, house wives, and people at the bottom of the pyramid in the country.”

As a part of the NAMFB’s role, the agency has embarked on capacity building and training for our members on how agency banking works and how it is being done. “We are encouraging our members and also talk with a number of mobile money companies to ensure that the policy is adequately implemented.”

Yar’Adua further remarked that the association was in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 25 licensed mobile companies to ensure inclusion of its members in the scheme. The policy would help to ensure that more people were included in the banking sector like in Kenya. “In Kenya, about two million accounts were created overnight because of mobile banking, where scratch cards and mobile phones were used to save and withdraw money from agents.”

The scribe of the association said the implementation of the cashless policy would increase availability of jobs as it would require more agents to perform many jobs in the process. “A recent research shows that a mobile company needs at least 50,000 agents to make impact like that of Kenya annually. The beauty of this system of employment is that it does not require any form of expertise; it could be a trader or anybody with mobile phone and a gadget given to him by the mobile company.”

Regarding challenges that could be encountered, Yar’ Adua said the mobile money and agency companies would need to ensure proper screening of the agents. He noted that the association and the companies must work together to monitor the agents to ensure their effectiveness and faithfulness to their clients.

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