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Business News

CBN issues new rule for e-payment channels, threatens to sanction non-compliance

The CBN has continued to give directives that deepen its cashless policy with its new rule for the use of Point of Sale (PoS) machine.

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parallel market, Covid-19: N3.5 trillion disbursed as stimulus package for the Nigerian economy, CBN Vs NESG: Waving the white flag for the benefit of Nigerians, Exchange Rate Unification: CBN devalues official rate to N380/$1, Nigerian banks have written off N1.9 trillion impaired loans in past 4 years, CBN sandbox operations, Stirling Trust Company Limited, Key highlights of the October 2020 Business Expectations Survey Report, A Total of N3.5 trillion was disbursed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to several other interventions to reflate the economy - CBN, BOFIA 2020: Steps forward or backwards for Nigerian banks, Total credit to the economy rose to N19.54trillion – CBN Governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has continued to give directives that deepen its cashless policy with its new rule for e-payment channels, especially the Point of Sale (PoS) machine. This new directive is coming barely a month after the CBN ordered that customers should no longer be charged N50 for transactions on the PoS.

The apex bank said it had upgraded the use of the PoS by merchants or other users. The new rule is particular to messages displayed by the PoS during transactions. Now, CBN said merchants are required to obtain Acquirer Device Validation certification or the applicable testing completion notification from its licensed card schemes.

PoS agents, operators kick against N50 charge, seek policy reversal , Merchants upgrade POS machines to automatically charge N50 tax duty , FG reviews N50 stamp duty charge to transactions above N10,000, Government reviews stamp duty charge

Why it matters: The apex banker had identified the predominant use of a single messaging format for POS transactions as an obstacle to the use of pre-authorisation as a mode of payment in Nigeria.

In a statement signed by Director, Payment System Management Department, CBN,  Musa Jimoh, “By this directive, all PoS terminal must have the capability for transaction pre-authorisation and sales completion. All card issuers are required to build the capability and enable the processes for pre-authorisation and sales-completion of transactions. Card schemes are also required to provide online simulators for acquirers and issuers to test their systems, when necessary.”

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The deadline to meet the directive is set for July 31, 2020, but the directive takes immediate effect. Those who fail to meet the deadline will be sanctioned for non-compliance.

[READ MORE: Nigeria’s retail outlets risk CBN sanction, debit N50 PoS fee from customers)

POS has been a driver of cashless policy: The use of PoS in the country has risen within the last three years, according to Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS). It was disclosed that over 146.3 million transactions were made in 2017; this stands for N1.4 trillion. In 2018, the worth of POS transaction rose to N2.3 trillion after a total of 285.9 million transactions was recorded.

Meanwhile, in half-year 2019, 187.7 million transactions were recorded, representing N1.4 trillion. So POS has become a crucial driver of the cashless policy and deepening of financial inclusion in both urban and rural areas.

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[READ MORE: Nigeria’s retail outlets risk CBN sanction, debit N50 PoS fee from customers)

CBN has been busy dishing orders: Several directives have been coming from the CBN relating to electronic transactions, including the use of PoS. The CBN had directed that the N50 POS Stamp Duty charge should be collected from businesses and not customers.

Also, the CBN slashed withdrawal fees usually charged after the third withdrawal from Automated Teller Machines within the same month. CBN stated that the withdrawal fee charged for the use of other banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATM) has been reduced to N35, from N65 earlier charged. While the card maintenance fee has been reviewed to N50 every three months (quarterly), from the initial monthly period.

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Business

Significant progress made in China-Africa ties within cooperation framework – AUC Chairperson

AUC chairperson has disclosed that significant, sustained progress is being made in China-Africa ties within cooperation framework.

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The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has said that “significant and sustained” progress has been made in China-Africa ties.

Mahamat asserted this in an analysis of his first-term as the AU Commission chairmanship.

He reiterated the AU Commission’s strong commitment to upholding multilateralism and supporting international partners in halting the trend of unilateralism.

He argued that “International cooperation and solidarity are irreplaceable.”

Mahamat, in his analysis, reiterated that global challenges, national egoism, the decline of multilateralism, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and dwindling resources “have hampered our forward march” during the past four years.

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The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Elfadil recently also hailed China as a strategic partner of Africa.

What they are saying

  • Mahamat submitted that: “With China, significant and sustained progress has been made within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
  • “Africa stands with those who fight unilateralism and strongly advocate for a multilateralism of respect, equality and mutual benefit.”

 

  • Amira Elfadil noted that: “We are looking for those who are serious about the future of this continent, and when we say strategic partners and mention strategic partnerships, China comes first and we appreciate this partnership very much.”

What you should know

  • The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).
  • The African Union Commission acts as the executive/administrative branch or secretariat of the AU and consists of a number of Commissioners dealing with different areas of policy.

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Coronavirus

President Buhari signs COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021

President Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy.

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Buhari sacks DG National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Argungu

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy, citing powers conferred to the Presidency, by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010, “…and in consideration of the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.”

The signing of the regulations was disclosed in a statement by the FG on Wednesday evening.

The law, which comes in 5 parts, includes; Part 1- Restrictions on Gatherings; Part 2- Operations of Public Places; Part 3- Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols; Part 4 – Offences and Penalties; Part 5 – Enforcement and Application; and Part 6 -Interpretation and Citation.

Restrictions on Gatherings

The regulations require that physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons. No gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50% capacity of the space.

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“The provisions of these Regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)”

Operations of Public Places 

  • No person shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurant, hotel, event centre, garden, leisure park, recreation centre, motor park, fitness centre or any other similar establishment except the person is using a facemask and has washed hands.
  • Managers of hostels, boarding houses, nursing homes, correctional centres, remand homes, holding cells, military detention facilities, and such centres for care and custody of persons, shall ensure compliance with the provisions of these regulations.
  • Managers of such facilities shall ensure that suspected cases of Covid-19 are promptly and appropriately separated from others and are reported to medical officers of the State Ministry of Health for necessary action.

Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols 

  • Persons confirmed to have tested positive to COVID-19 by an NCDC accredited laboratory, may not refuse isolation and or admission to a designated health establishment for management of the disease.
  • All public secondary and tertiary health facilities shall designate a space or holding bay for the initial triage or assessment of suspected persons with COVID-19 in line with the approved protocol for case management.
  • All public secondary and tertiary health facilities shall establish sample collection centres, where test samples from suspected cases can be collected and transmitted to an accredited testing laboratory in the State.

Offences and Penalties

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  • Any person who contravenes the provisions of these regulations commits an offence.
  •  Any person who, without reasonable cause, contravenes a direction given under Parts 1 and 2 of these regulations commits an offence.
  • An offence under these regulations is punishable, on summary conviction, by a fine or a term of six months imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 5 of the Quarantine Act.

Enforcement and Application 

  • Personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, and other relevant Local Government, State and Federal Government agencies are hereby directed to enforce the provisions of these regulations.
  • Any officer of the enforcement agencies who fails, neglects, or refuses to enforce the provisions of these regulations shall be subject to disciplinary action
  • State Governors may issue regulations on further steps as may be considered necessary.

On interpretations of the law, the FG said, “Offence” means any act, which may constitute a violation of the provisions of these regulations, while “Enforcement Agency” means any law enforcement or security agency vested with the statutory power to investigate and prosecute. The law also stated that the regulations would go into effect immediately and remain in effect until otherwise determined.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported this week that the Federal Government had announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month with effect from Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

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Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp user base top 3.3 billion, Q4 revenue of $28 billion

More people are spending their time online on the bias COVID-19 pandemic has negatively disrupted social mobility.

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The world’s biggest social media company, Facebook, recently posted its fourth-quarter earnings which were better than what many stock market experts had expected, against a backdrop of growing regulatory and political challenges.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp now have a combined user base of 3.3 billion to get their messages out.

Facebook itself has about 2.8 billion monthly users, beating the Wall Street market prediction of 2.76 billion, as humans spend more of their activities online on the basis that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively disrupted social mobility.

Here are highlights of key metrics expected versus the comparable year-ago quarter, according to a Bloomberg consensus forecast of Wall Street analysts:

  • Revenue: $28 billion vs $26.407 billion estimated; $21.082 billion in Q4 2019.
  • Earnings per share (Adjusted): $3.88 vs $3.54 expected; $2.56 in Q4 2019.
  • Ad Revenue: $27.19 billion vs. $26.07 billion expected; $20.74 billion in Q4 2019.
  • Daily Active Users (DAU): 1.84 billion vs 1.828 billion estimates; 1.66 billion in Q4 2019.

“We believe our business has benefited from two broad economic trends playing out during the pandemic. The first is the ongoing shift towards online commerce.

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“The second is the shift in consumer demand towards products and away from services.” Facebook CFO, Dave Wehner, said.

Capital expenditures including principal payments on finance leases, were $4.82 billion and $15.72 billion for the fourth quarter and full year of 2020, respectively.

Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $61.95 billion as of December 31, 2020.

However, in spite of an impressive earning resulted posted by the world’s most valuable social media company, Facebook shares tanked by more than 3% on the consideration that the company printed a blurry outlook amid growing regulatory concerns and stiff competition.

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“We also expect to face more significant ad targeting headwinds in 2021. This includes the impact of platform changes, notably iOS 14, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape. While the timing of the iOS 14 changes remains uncertain, we would expect to see an impact beginning late in the first quarter,” Dave Wehner said.

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