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CBN reverses suspension order on dispute management operations, interswitch reacts

Interswitch Group has denied being directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend all dispute management operations.

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Interswitch Group, Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce firm has denied being directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend all dispute management operations, which include reversal of failed visa and verve card transactions.

Interswitch’s rebuttal, which was disclosed via the company’s Twitter account, assured cardholders and transacting public to disregard any misleading reports indicating that Verve Card transactions had been impacted by any resolution.

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It stated, “Our attention has been drawn to a series of misleading information recently circulating through SMS notifications and online/offline. Please note Interswitch’s factual position.

‘’We have implemented an excellent business continuity plan and there is no disruption whatsoever to our business operations.

‘’Cardholders and the transacting public are assured that all dispute management operations remain fully available and all chargebacks and disputes will be processed according to their regular timelines.”

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[READ MORE: CBN’s heterodox policies buoys credit growth)

In view of the clarification of disruption of dispute management and chargeback processing operations by Interswitch, Verve has told all its cardholders and the transacting public to disregard any misleading reports indicating that Verve Card transactions had been impacted by any such resolution.

Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported CBN’s directive to Interswitch, to suspend all refund activities for failed Verve and Visa Card transactions.

This directive actually contradicts CBN’s earlier press statement to the stakeholders, where it said it had obtained exemptions for skeletal operations in the Financial systems and Money market.

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The general public was asked by the apex bank to still perform online transactions and use ATMs while still observing the restriction order made by President Muhammadu Buhari and various state governments.

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READ MORE: Free fuel Friday with Firstbank verve card

However, a monitored report suggested that the order for the reversal of that directive was actually given by CBN. It said that the apex bank gave the initial directive for suspension of all dispute management operations as a result of shut down of offices and movement restrictions.

However, following the pressure mounted by stakeholders, the CBN had to take a second look at the directive.

Interswitch noted in its letter to the banks, that the CBN had withdrawn the earlier directive due to feedback from certain industry stakeholders.

Interswitch, in its letter, stated that, “All chargebacks and disputes will be processed according to their regular timelines.

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In addition, chargebacks and disputes that may have arisen during the period of the suspension can now be logged on the platform as appropriate.”

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- chike.olisah@nairametrics.com.

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Economy & Politics

NCC reacts to claims that minister chased Diaspora Commission’s staff from office complex

The NCC denies claims of the video on social media, pointing out that the staffs of NIDCOM were not sent packing from the digital economy complex

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reacted to claims by the Chief Executive of Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, that her staff members were chased out of its premises by armed men on the orders of the Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

The NCC, through a press statement on May 24, 2020 signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, has said that nothing of such happened as it denied claims in a video making rounds on social media that the staff of NIDCOM were sent packing from the digital economy complex.

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According to the press statement from NCC:

Following the completion of the NCC building at Mbora, Abuja designated as NCC Annex and the acute shortage of accommodation space for the staff of the commission in the NCC head office at Maitama, Abuja, the Board of the commission directed the decongestion of the Head office building. Some of the departments of the NCC had started moving to the new office complex of 5 floors when discussions were held between the NCC and the Diaspora Commission to enable the Diaspora Commission also utilize any free offices within the complex.

“The fifth floor allocated to them had to be used to accommodate other departments from the NCC headquarters to ease the congestion. NCC’s offer to house the Nigeria Diaspora Commission was predicated on the long held position of the NCC that agencies of government will achieve more through strategic collaboration, partnership, synergy and sharing to the extent allowed by relevant laws.”

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(READ MORE: PenCom dissolves interim management committee for First Guarantee Pension, appoints new board)

NCC disclosed that it had secured approval for the commissioning of the office complex by President Buhari, and also the launching of 4 important projects of NCC, together with the renamed Ministry of Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.

It also stated that the offer to NIDCOM had not been withdrawn, but had only hit a bump arising from the preparation for the visit of President Buhari to launch the projects and inaugurate the complex. It said that the Board and Management of NCC took a decision to ensure that every activity in the building was in line with the Federal Government’s agenda.

Going further, the statement reads:

“Incidentally, after the offer of the office spaces to the Diaspora Commission, the Director General, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa had not visited the complex to take possession of any of the offices and also the commission had not started using any of these spaces as offices.

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‘’As is usual in ensuring security and accountability before, during and after presidential visits, the building had to be cleared to allow for only known and identifiable persons to have access within the complex. Therefore, the Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami could not have sent armed men to drive the staff of the Diaspora Commission out of the Communication Economy Complex.”

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The statement also pointed out that as at that time, only NCC staff were accredited to have access within the premises and that all properties belonging to NIDCOM were safely warehoused in some of the offices within the complex.

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Coronavirus

Sanwo-Olu gives incentives to businesses to prevent job loss

Babajide Sanwo-Olu noted that the state is Nigeria’s number one commercial centre and a massive job loss will not bode well for it’s economy

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Bond: Lagos to rAN100 billion for infrastructural development, COVID-19: Lagos asks civil servants to stay at home, No public buses between 7pm and 6am, Okada ban takes effect from May 4 – LASG, No public buses between 7pm and 6am, Okada ban takes effect from May 4 – LASG, Sanwo-Olu gives incentives to businesses to prevent job loss

Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised that any business that employs a large number of people will receive incentives from the state government in order to prevent massive job loss in the state.

He noted that Lagos state is Nigeria’s number one commercial center and heavy job losses will not bode well for the economy of the state, and the country.

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“We are having conversations with different sectors on the requirements they need to ensure they do not retrench their staff. What many of the companies want will affect the State’s IGR but we are willing to make the sacrifice to prevent the loss of livelihood of our citizens,” the governor stated.

The phased reopening of the economy

The governor explained in his tweet that all businesses were still required to follow the Register-to-open initiative, and put all facilities in place before they would be allowed to reopen.

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(READ MORE: COVID-19: Best and worst case scenarios for the Nigerian economy)

According to him, the state will consider companies in the construction and manufacturing sector as top priority in the first stage of the reopening, while businesses in the entertainment and hospitality sector will be considered for reopening in the second phase, as the state tries to balance economic reactivation with COVID-19 management.

“We are caught between managing hunger & sustaining an economy that is not only dependent on commercial activities in Lagos alone but also in other states.  

“We are at the stage where we have to balance public health safety & the economy that affects the wellbeing of the people” Sanwo-Olu stated. 

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He urged Lagosians to support the government in breaking the cycle of transmission, by adhering to the guidelines from the authorities.

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Around the World

Air Peace to evacuate stranded Indians from Lagos to Kerala

A list of the passengers to be attended to has already been given and the flight shall depart Lagos on May 30, 2020, to Cochin Airport, Kerala.

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Air Peace signs deal with Brazillian aerospace company , Air Peace suspends flight operations over COVID-19

The management of Air Peace Nigeria has been contacted by the Indian High Commission in Nigeria to undertake the evacuation of stranded Indian nationals to Kerala, India. This was disclosed by the airline via its Twitter handle.

The airline explained that a list of passengers that would be attended to have been released and it has started reaching out to the Indians on Saturday.

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It stated, “A list of the passengers to be attended to has already been given to us and we have commenced reaching out to them. The flight shall depart Lagos on May 30, 2020, to Cochin Airport, Kerala.”

The flight is not free anyway. According to the airline, payments are expected immediately and they are Economy is $1.300 and Business class is tag $1,700. “You are equally allowed to pay in Naira at N460/$,” it added.

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However, some Indians in Nigeria has reacted with mixed feelings to the development on Twitter. While some were ready to join the flight back home, others called for the refund of ticket fare booked a week ago.

READ ALSO: Hope rises as Emefiele set to meet MTN, 4 banks today.

For instance, Jayant Khamesra requested for the refund ticket fare of N568, 100, which he paid for a flight from Lagos to Delhi.

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He said, “Please refund ticket fare P47812 LAGOS to DELHI. No show by Air Peace and it is been 1 week now, there has been no refund or confirmation of the same. Reference ALHN79 amount N568,100. I am sure a good world-class carrier like Air Peace won’t delay refunds purposely. Please act fast.

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