VENTURES AFRICA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that fromMonday, December 17, 2012 customers will seize to pay N100 ($0.64) withdrawal charges whenever they use ATM of other banks.
According to the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi: “We have agreed on a final date of Monday 17, December, 2012 for the kick-off, when every bank will remove the charges. We allowed some time for banks that have not configured their IT to do so and stop charging, and hopefully by 17th of December, you are not going to have any customer pay additional charges.”
The CBN Governor and Chairman of the Bankers’ Committee, disclosed this while speaking at the 4th Annual Retreat of the Bankers Committee in Calabar tagged “Towards Economic Development and Sustainable Transformation”.
Prior to the announcement, there have been hints from the Bankers’ Committee that the service charges would soon be dropped but the stoppage date had not been decided. According to the committee, the move was partly aimed at enhancing financial inclusion and encouraging ATM usage in line with CBN’s cashless programme.
Sanusi explained that the delay in implementing the policy was to allow banks configure their information technology infrastructure for the effective implementation of the policy.
Meanwhile, the apex bank boss stated that the Bankers’ Committee had initiated effective advocacy that has led to significant progress in the reform of key sectors of the economy, including power, agriculture and the oil and gas sectors.
“Collaboration with the government, the banking community and real sector stakeholders, the Bankers’ Committee programmes and initiatives have contributed to a tangible improvement in the enabling environment and private sector funding for the power and agriculture sectors.”
While commending the economic reform agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, Sanusi said “The CBN has taken proactive actions to ensure that the financial system remains focused and committed to the goals of economic development and sustainability. Effective partnership across government, banks, the private sector and key stakeholders is critical to achieve economic goals and objectives.”
According to the CBN boss, the banking sector lending to the agriculture sector had increased considerably from 1.5 per cent of total industry portfolio to 3.5 per cent in 2012. He said banks have set a target to attain seven per cent agric sector lending by next year and 10 per cent by 2017.
“With a vision for a better future for Nigerians, the Bankers’ Committee is committed to a lead role as catalyst for economic development, improving access to finance by the unbanked and under-banked population and growth of the real sector. The Bankers’ Committee has focused on power, agriculture and transport infrastructure sectors for driving growth and identified opportunities for financial system intervention in the transformation of these critical sectors of the economy,” he said.
Sanusi also hinted at the meeting that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) will commences the process of divesting from the three nationalised banks which are wholly owned by the corporation – Keystone Bank Limited, Enterprise Bank Limited and Mainstreet Bank Limited.
“We want to start the process by June 1 next year of getting AMCON to divest from the three banks so that by 2014, the process would have been completed,” he said.