In what appears to be deliberate policy to crush the demand for foreign exchange(FX) while salvaging the nation’s store of value of Africa’s fastest growing economy, its apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria today unveiled the Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme named, AFRIGO.
The Nigerian Government said it wants to reduced demand for FX and less pressure on the Naira whilst developing local skills in the card and payment space, and that it wants to use the Afrigo card is operated by AfrigoPay Financial Services Limited (AFSL), to boost financial inclusion, value retention and flexibility.
Speaking at the unveiling, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele expressed the bank’s commitment to ensuring a secure national payment system in Nigeria stating: “Millions of Nigerians are still unable to make use of payment cards to consummate transactions. We can no longer neglect the vast majority of Nigerians whose daily payment needs are micro payments.”
He said that Afrigo presents an opportunity to integrate the informal segments of our economy and bring more Nigerians into the formal financial services system.
And the Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability and & Chairman, NIBSS PLC, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad described the introduction of the card as a strategic turning point for payments in Nigeria and a source of deep national pride.
“Afrigo is Africa’s most promising domestic card scheme given the rapid growth of electronic payments in Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation. It is a monumental development for several reasons, not in the least is the fact that it gives us sovereignty over our data, saves cost for the industry, and presents a new vista of opportunities for the card business”.
The Managing Director of NIBSS, Premier Oiwoh, that the scheme will reduced operating cost as well as other benefits such as a secured platform, loyalty scheme, credit cards, and virtual cards amongst others.
Andrew Walden, the Technical Consultant on the Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme, said that Nigeria had been a regional leader in many of the global payment trends and was now ready to adopt the opportunities of the domestic card scheme.
“Nigeria has played an enviable role in advancing the forefront of revolution in the payment industry.
“This scheme provides an opportunity for Nigeria to cement its place at the forefront of digital payments innovation,” he said.
The national domestic card scheme duly licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. in conjunction with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Plc, the Bankers Committee, and other financial ecosystem stakeholders.
With the implementation of the scheme, the industry will reap benefits which include improved transaction security, data sovereignty, better pricing opportunities, interchange fee reduction, Other advantages include a not to mention it is a source of national pride.
Leave a Reply