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Nigerian Association Of Mobile Money Agents, Kicks Against CAC Directive On POS Operators



The Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) has strongly opposed the recent directive by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) that all Point of Sale (POS) agents must register with it, regardless of their status as individuals or non-individuals.

A statement by the association’s National General Secretary Oluwasegun Elegbede, said they believed the directive was unnecessary, contradictory to existing laws, and amounted to a mere revenue generation move to further tax hapless Nigerians.

“We disagree with the CAC’s claim that it wants to fight crimes in the agency banking business space through registration. We believe that the kind of crimes in the space are both human and technical, which CAC registration cannot fight. We see their efforts as merely a revenue generation move to further tax hapless Nigerians who are trying to get by.”

Citing Section 18(1) of CAMA which states that “a person may apply to the Commission for the registration of a company” and Section 22(1) states that “a company shall be deemed to be a separate legal entity from its members. This implies that individuals and non-individuals (companies) have different legal statuses and requirements.

“Moreover, the CBN Policy on Financial Inclusion and Development states that “agency banking services shall be provided by agents who are individuals or non-individuals (companies) registered with the CBN” (Section 2.1). This policy clearly recognizes the distinction between individuals and non-individuals and does not require individuals to register with the CAC,” the association argued.

Elegbede explained that AMMBAN had made and still making spirited efforts in combating the issue of crimes within their business space.

“This much was communicated to the Vice President of Nigeria, Kashim Shettima, in a recent interaction with him last month. The Association has launched a joint task force consisting of all security agents across the country to fight sundry crimes at Agent locations. The CAC mandate doesn’t include what it is bent on doing.”

The association described it as worrisome that the CAC was threatening to deploy the police to go after agents who fail to register by July 7.

“We condemn this threat in strong terms and will be seeking clarity on the position of the law in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“We also want to address the recent report credited to the EFCC that agents collude with bank staff to hoard cash or engage in buying and selling cash. We find this report not only misleading but also damaging to the reputation of our members who are law-abiding citizens. Our Association finds it criminal for anyone to buy and sell cash, as our role is to bring succour to the general populace at a convenient cost to serve.

“We urge the EFCC to provide substantial evidence, not generalizing, to support their claims and to avoid making statements that can tarnish the image of hardworking and dedicated agents who have contributed significantly to financial inclusion in Nigeria.”

Regarding the allegation that POS agents are responsible for cash scarcity, Elegbede, categorically denied the claim, adding, that their members are equally facing the same challenge “because agents are not given any preferences in accessing cash from the banks”.

“It has a long standing demand that the CBN categorises agents into different tiers to enable them to have access to cash, rather than seeing them as individuals with a limit of N500,000. This will help to address the current cash scarcity and promote financial inclusion.

“Furthermore, we reject the CBN’s policy limiting multiple accounts/wallets to two. This policy has crashed the agent network category and is an attack on financial inclusion.

“We urge the CBN to reconsider this policy and engage with stakeholders to find a solution that promotes financial inclusion and economic growth.

“Finally, we advise all stakeholders to be mindful of their statements and actions, as they can lead to a loss of the gains made in the last 10 years in the drive for financial inclusion to the last mile. We urge everyone to work together to promote financial inclusion and economic growth, rather than engaging in activities that can undermine the progress made so far.”

Nelly Agwu is an educationist, a journalist, a Blogger, graduate of History. Very dynamic and a realist. A mouthpiece of the oppressed. Easy going and a Philanthropist.

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