There is no going back on cashless Nigeria. That seems to be the message Central Bank of Nigeria CBN is passing to all Nigerians.
In every project CBN has engaged itself recently to boost the nationwide cashless initiative, the governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido has always reiterated the importance of empowering primary, secondary schools, the entire banking industry both in the urban and rural areas, with real time internet connectivity.
To put more action to its words, the CBN at the weekend, dropped a hint that it was on the verge of signing a multi billion Naira contract with the nation’s communications satellite business managers, the Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT, limited.
CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who dropped the hint, while launching Bank Verification Number Biometric Solution in Lagos, said the contract will be signed in a few days to come.
The digital initiative contract with NIGCOMSAT which is expected to be ratified early next week will create hotspots in all the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria for seamless Internet connectivity via satellite.
At least, Sanusi said that “all financial access points in the country will have dedicated hotspots through dedicated access points for the benefit of the banks and their customers”.
He also said this same service will be available in many primary and secondary schools across the 774 council areas in the country.
For him, with Internet hotspots in primary and secondary schools, the youths and leaders of tomorrow would be handed the digital empowerment they need to rule their world.
From Sanusi’s expression, the project is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the apex bank, but the good thing about it is that ” every Nigerian bank will be connected to this platform whether the banks are located here in Nigeria or elsewhere in the global community.
It will enable customers access online real time banking services whether they live in the villages of Bayelsa or desert environment in Yobe States”
Again, a direct benefit of this internet hotspot is the boost it will give Mobile money services, as it will smoothen transfer of money from one point to the other from one machine to the other without hitches. Meanwhile, Sanusi said that the CBN has initiated all of these in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications Technology, the Bankers Committee, Chams Plc and the immediate past Deputy Governor incharge of Operations Mr Tunde Lemo and the German Company Dorman Long.
The CBN, Sanusi explained, will fund the Internet connectivity in the first four years and all those who would receive Internet services through the designated nationwide hotspots will do so free of charge.
“This legacy is more than the banking reforms which we have started. Innovative banks can now think in a limitless manner that is open to them by a combination of the biometric, Internet availability via NIGCOMSAT and in a few years, you will have an industry that is the most efficient in the world by simply leveraging on the potentials of the solutions”
He promised that by the time the deal was finally tied, all Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point Of Sales (POS) in every village will be linked seamlessly to satellite and would help take a lot of burden off the banks to enable them concentrate on how to woo customers and offer them services that will bring comfort.