Why CBN denied Nigeria telcos mobile money licenses
GOVERNMENT| Feb. 18, 2012, 12:54 p.m.
By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria
Despite knowing their about 100 million subscribers, Nigeria's financial sector regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it refused to license mobile phone operators to operate mobile money services in the country.
The CBN which spoke to Biztechafrica on the sidelines of the 66th edition of Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) convened on Friday at the Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, explained that granting telecommunication service providers license to offer the service might compromise service quality in the country.
MTN, Etisalat, Airtel and Globacom are the gladiators in the global system for mobile (GSM) communication in the country, Visafone, Starcomms, ZomMobile and a few others operate in the sick code division multiple access (CDMA) section of the telecoms industry in the country.
George Sansa, a representative of the apex bank at the event, said when the issue of granting licenses for mobile money came up, it was debated thoroughly and it was agreed that mobile operators should not be burdened unnecessarily with offering mobile money services.
The issue of depreciating telecoms services has remained a daunting challenge to operators and regulators in the country with subscribers usually left to lick their wounds.
Sansa explained that in view of the challenges facing the operators, the CBN restricted their role in the scheme to providing only the traffic for the exercise.
“The CBN went through a rigorous process in rolling out the guidelines which are of international standard for the scheme.”
“The operators are supposed to be carriers. In order to avoid a clash, telecoms operators were exempted from the grant of operational licenses. We want to avoid a clash on interest,” Sansa said.
On security of the payment system in view of the massive fraud that greeted the introduction of automated teller machines (ATMs) in the country a couple of years ago, the CBN official said the apex bank has constituted an e-fraud forum which will not only collate electronic fraud cases in the country but investigate the modus operandi of such crime and suggest ways of nipping it in the bud.
On power failure factor which may likely scuttle the success of the scheme, he said there were dedicated lines for e-payment connectivity in the country, arguing that with the relentless investment of the federal government in the power sector, there appears a light at the end of the tunnel soon.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
‘Spy machine’ to roll out this monthThe Malawi Regulatory Authority (Macra) has disclosed that the implementation of the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (Cirms), famed as a ‘spy machine’, would start by the end of this month. Read More
Malawi to advance technological innovationsMalawi’s government has launched a Global Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments report, to support technological innovation. Read More
E-Waste management workshop on the cardsThe Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has lined up a series of workshops this year one of them being the upcoming half day consultative workshop on Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management in the Communications Sector. Read More
NIMC moves to accelerate issue of e-ID cardsNigeria’s National Identity Management Commission has concluded its International Vendors’ Summit aimed at ensuring that citizens who have enrolled for their National Identification Number get their National e-ID Cards on time. Read More
NCS blames shoddy preparations for neglect of IT in electionThe Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has blamed tardiness in project management, and challenges in logistics and security, for neglect of ICT by the government and the electoral umpires. Read More
Rwanda’s ICT private sector strengthens commercial ties with IsraelIn an attempt to fast track growth of the sector and the capacity of the players in the ICT sector, every year the Rwanda’s ICT Chamber chooses priority countries to visit to strengthen business ties and to study the global best practices in business, innovation, workforce development and to ... Read More
Senegal prepares national plan to protect children onlineSenegal is taking action to ensure that its children are protected online and do not become victims of harmful content, cybercrime, bullying and other criminal offences perpetrated by syndicates on the internet. Read More
Ivory Coast moves to close digital divideThe government of Ivory Coast has launched a project to help half a million families own IT equipment and connect to the internet in the next three years. Read More
Mabeo blames cable thieves for erratic ICT servicesBotswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo, has pointed to power failure, vandalism and theft of copper and fibre cables as the main contributors to disruptions in ICT services. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.
COMPANY NEWSVMware unveils vCloud for NFV with Integrated OpenStack to accelerate service innovation
VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, today debuted VMware vCloud for NFV, an integrated Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform that will combine VMware’s production-proven ...