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Sanusi: Electronic Payment Will Curb Money Laundering, Corruption

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Monday said the effective implementation of the
electronic payment system in both private and public sectors would be “the
biggest blow” on money-laundering and corruption often perpetrated as a
result of the huge size of cash transactions.
Speaking in Abuja at the opening of an international
conference on ‘Payment System and Launch of the Payment System Vision 2020
Strategy (Release 2) Document’, Sanusi said the CBN would over the next few
years concentrate on strengthening institutional and regulatory frameworks that
would encourage the development of the payment system, increase financial
inclusion and promote more usage of electronic payments.
He explained that the revised document would henceforth
ensure that no national payments system would invoke the principle of unwind. He
added: “The CBN will formally inform the industry that unwinds must not be
invoked in any national payment system. Each payment scheme must define and
formally document the exact point at which payments are deemed to be final and
irrevocable.”
Sanusi further noted that under the updated strategy
document for payments system, the implicit role of the central bank as ‘lender
of last resort’ for Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) payment system would be
terminated by December 2016 as well as the Deferred Net Settlement system by
December 2019.
He said there was need for best practice and improved
collaboration across various levels, adding that effective payment system could
not be achieved without technology providers and regulators of the communications
technology sector. However, the CBN boss said the country’s payment system was
still plagued by infrastructure deficit including power and communications
network, illiteracy, slow adoption, lack of effective national identity among
others.
Sanusi said the draft National Payment System Bill, which is
still being considered for approval, would address legal barriers to electronic
payment in the country. He added that ongoing implementation of biometric
solution as part of requirements for opening of accounts would also solve the
problem of unique identifier. The central bank boss noted that the revised
PSV2020 document would further usher in the emergence of a new collateral
management for all the deferred net settlement systems.
On her part, the Minister of Communications and Technology,
Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said government was working to make the internet safer
for the active participation of more Nigerians through the approval of the
Cybercrime Bill by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
She also said efforts were ongoing to deploy critical
infrastructure in rural areas to further drive the digitisation process. Meanwhile,
the CBN yesterday reiterated that its Consumer Protection Department was
established to ensure that consumers of financial services get maximum benefit
from banks.
 Addressing journalists in Kano yesterday, the Deputy
Director, Consumer Education, CBN, Hajiya Khadijat Kassim, said when the
present management of the central bank assumed duty in 2009; the financial
system was at the brink of collapse.  She
said: “There was crisis in the financial and capital market which had been
triggered by the global financial crisis at the time.”
According to her, in line with the mandate of the CBN to
promote a sound and stable financial system as enshrined in the CBN Act, the
consumer protection department was saddled with the responsibility of
regulating the conduct of financial service providers so as to engender trust
and confidence in the financial system.
Specifically, Hajiya Kassim said consumer protection
department functions amongst others include, enhancing consumer financial
capability through consumer education, ensure fair and responsible market and
business conduct amongst financial service promoters.

“It is important that the consumers are given reasons to
trust the system and therefore be confident in dealing with financial service
providers,” she said.
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