Across social media platforms, commercial banks in Nigeria have intensified their digital marketing efforts, as they encourage their customers to stay safe by adopting internet banking. This is in view of the Coronavirus pandemic and ongoing efforts to contain the disease.
But while switching to online banking is apparently the right thing to do at this point in time, many customers are not quite happy with the e-banking services they are getting. These customers are finding it difficult to transact business with the online banking platforms available to them.
This, therefore, raises questions about the preparedness of most banks in Nigeria to provide good digital banking services.
The complaints: After the Presidential Order that declared lockdowns in Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun State, Polaris Bank Limited tweeted at its more than one hundred thousand followers. The tweet informed customers that the bank would be limiting its banking hall operations in view of the lockdowns. The customers were also encouraged to make good use of Polaris Bank’s virtual banking channels.
READ MORE: CBN waves red flag at three commercial banks
Many of those who reacted to the tweet were full of complaints. One customer actually claimed that Polaris Bank’s virtual banking platforms are migraine-inducing. In other words, the bank’s mobile app and USSD code were supposedly not working properly, the customer claimed.
Your virtual channels are giving me migraines as we speak. Cant use Mobile app or ussd. Please
— Scent9jA (@Scent9jA) March 30, 2020
While some customers complained about their inability to use Polaris Bank’s app no matter how much they tried, others complained about their transfers not getting through to the recipients, despite being debited.
But your mobile app isn't functioning for transfer
— unusual_Tomi (@oluwatomisin0) March 29, 2020
@polarisbank, I do the transfer of 20k to another bank (GTB) through Polaris mobile, I was debited but the beneficiary yet to received the money since 2:00 am today. Please assist for immediate resolution
— adelabu afeez (@adelabu_02707) March 29, 2020
But Polaris Bank is not the only one at the receiving end of customers’ outrage. Union Bank customers also expressed their displeasure with the bank’s internet banking service.
Earlier today, the bank reassured its customers that all their essential banking needs will be met during this lockdown period. All that they need to do is to make use of Union Bank’s electronic channels. Unfortunately, Union Bank’s tweet was not quite as reassuring to some customers as it was intended. One person even said that they regret ever using the bank.
I regret ever banking with you
— Walk in for the fashion (@MUthmaan) March 31, 2020
Pls I was debited for money I didn't receive. What do I do?
— Adedeji Folake (@AdedejiFolake1) March 31, 2020
Similarly, customers have described Fidelity Bank’s online banking service as horrible and “messed up”. This has left customers wondering how they can survive lockdown.
Your digital services are f#*kd up. Money trapped. DM not replied to. Are your e-services on lockdown????
— Mr. Wali (MCIPS) (@madu_agwu) March 31, 2020
Internet banking is horrible… fix it
— Clinton Emovon (@CEmovon) March 31, 2020
Why is the internet banking not working.i can’t even check my balance online and I can’t use other bank ATM even the pos.was wrong???
— onuohandubuisianthony (@benyouben) March 31, 2020
As expected, the banks have apologised to the customers for all the inconveniences. They have also continued to assure customers to keep using virtual banking channels while the lockdown lasts.
Skills Africa needs for sustainable development
Over a billion people with 5 official working languages – Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Swahili , will again celebrate Africa Day this year.
From Addis Ababa to Durban, Lagos to Cairo, from the Sahara Dessert to the Nile River, over a billion people with 5 official working languages – Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Swahili – will again celebrate Africa Day this year.
A day to remember, reminisce and celebrate successes recorded against the struggles for independence, freedom from apartheid and colonization. Although, with the new normal brought about by Coronavirus, the 2020 celebrations would be quite unlike previous years.
The Africa Union (Formerly OAU) has recorded good milestones in terms of political independence and self-governance. So now is a good time for Africa to reflect on our independence.
On reading the objectives of the Africa Union (AU), words like independence, territorial integrity, human rights, security, cooperation are splattered across the pages. Significantly, none of the AU objectives seeks economic autonomy for Africa or her member states. This is a fundamental flaw which speaks directly to Africa’s issue of having a large population without the requisite skills for growth.
Our education is largely dependent on the western curriculum and narrative. There is hardly any major infrastructure, industrial or development project in Africa with 100% African content in manpower, materials or capital.
It is now well established and more evident that political independence without economic independence is like a car without an engine. Economic empowerment is the nucleus of national development. No fewer than 14 West African countries currently use CFA Franc, with some having used the currency for at least 75 years. This goes beyond nameplate as the Bank of France holds half of those countries’ currency reserves. This is effectively cutting their growth capacity by 50%.
8 of those 14 countries will relinquish the CFA franc for the new ECOWAS currency, ECO (to be launched in July 2020). However, there is no indication that the affected African leaders would ask France for compensation for the years of economic sabotage to their countries. The introduction of the ECO was to bring a ray of hope, but we hope the real difference would not just be in the colour of the currency. This is because the ECO will not be autonomous but would be pegged against the Euro.
France is not alone in the economic sabotage of Africa, they are in the good company of the United Kingdom, the US and Belgium, to mention a few. However, are these foreign countries to blame? Africa got her independence, but African leaders refuse to be independent and the dependent mentality is also enshrined in the AU objectives.
One of the AU objectives states “to work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent.” The statement looks good superficially, but it is enlaced with aid orientation, the lack of drive for self-reliance, and a beggarly mindset.
Let us educate Africa to pursue the development of its people, with core skills that are necessary to deliver the quality of the progress and growth that Africans desire. African construction companies should make African infrastructure and 100% African content should be the target in automobile engineering, healthcare, information technology,
Necessity is said to be the mother of invention. The need for Africans to lead Africa out of poverty, tyranny and underdevelopment is a matter of great importance, far beyond just necessity. Every African must desire to get skilled, and not just education, as we currently have it. We must have the competence to develop our agriculture system, mine Africa’s natural resources and add value by processing them locally.
Africa Day would only be truly worthy of celebration when African people and countries are skilled enough to accomplish our dreams of self-reliance and economic independence.
Article written by Olatunde Akintola. Olatunde is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria and alumni of Manchester Business School. He writes from Lagos.
Tiktok’s In-App revenue surges amid lockdown
ByteDance Ltd’s brainchild, TikTok, together with Douyin ranking tops globally on mobile apps with the highest revenue generated for the month of April.
The meme-making business has proven to be worth all the fuss, with TikTok, as well as its Chinese twin app, Douyin, ranking tops globally on mobile apps with the highest revenue generated for the month of April.
Sensor Tower, notes that just in the first quarter of this year, ByteDance Ltd’s brainchild, TikTok, together with Douyin which caters to the Chinese market, generated 315 million downloads globally, from the 187 million it had just a year earlier.
The ranking, which was based on their in-app purchases, reveal a tenfold increase, as the companies garnered a whopping $78 million in revenue. The Chinese market is said to have contributed 86.6% of Douyin’s revenue, followed by the U.S market which contributed 8.2%.
This places them ahead of older names like Netflix & YouTube. As opposed to using subscriptions like these established brands, TikTok and Douyin allow users to purchase virtual currency to spend on their favorite content creators.
(READ MORE: Does YouTube stand a chance against TikTok?)
While ByteDance is exploring the world of online commerce, it continues to rely on advertising as its primary income source. However, Emarketer projects that more than 75 million US social network users will make at least one purchase from a social channel in the year 2020.
Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office
Some of the projects to be commissioned will be done virtually, while a few will be done on-site.
Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will virtually inaugurate housing, education, and road projects on May 29, as part of activities to mark his first year in office.
According to a report by NAN, the projects are part of the government’s efforts to renew infrastructure in critical sectors and to make the commercial centre a smart city.
Some of the projects to be commissioned will be done virtually, while a few will be done on-site.
Lagos state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, listed some of the projects in an official statement. He said:
”In the education sector, Sanwo-Olu will conduct virtual inauguration of completed classroom blocks in Maya Secondary School, Ikorodu; Eva Adelaja Junior School, Bariga; and Saviour Primary School, Ifako-Ijaiye, among others.
“Virtual inauguration of completed works such as the Concrete Jetty in Baiyeku, Ikorodu, Aradagun-Ajido- Epeme Road in Badagry, and the Maryland Signalisation project also form part of the itinerary to commemorate the anniversary.”
Omotoso also stated that the Governor would inaugurate the 360-unit Lagos Homes in Ikorodu, and then visit Igbogbo Baiyeku IIB Estate, Lekki, and the Courtland Villas on Femi Okunnu Estate during the week.
Plans for celebrating Children’s Day
In a related development, Governor Sanwo-Olu will deliver an address on Wednesday May 27 to mark the children’s day celebration, and the 53rd anniversary of Lagos state.
Omotoso, however, noted that all celebrations would be kept on the low in reflection of the current challenges and realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presenting one-year scorecards
The activities for the week are expected to begin with press briefings at J.J.T Park in Alausa on May 27, where members of the State Executive Council will present their scorecards in line with the six pillars of the state’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
According to the information commissioner, there will be two sessions of press briefings daily from May 27 to June 3, as the Governor considers it expedient to render a stewardship account of the last one year.
“Three special publications highlighting the achievements of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration and testimonies of beneficiaries of various initiatives of the government are slated for presentation to the public by the governor and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat,” he added.