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Nigeria records N4.6 trillion worth of POS transactions in 7 months

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POS transactions in Nigeria jumped to N4.6 trillion in the first seven months of 2022, a 29.3% increase compared to N3.56 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021 and a staggering 90.3% increase when compared to the same period of 2020.

This is according to data culled from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) between January and July 2022. In the same vein, the volume of transactions rose by 25% year-on-year to 679.8 million in the same period from 543.7 million recorded in the previous year.

The increase in both the volume and value of POS transactions is an indication of how Nigerians are increasingly leaning away from cash payments in lieu of electronic transactions and reflects the growth of online shopping in Nigeria’s commercial space.

Notably, the volume and value of cheque transactions dropped in the same period. Specifically, a total of N1.83 trillion was recorded through cheques in the 7-month period across 2.4 million transactions a decline compared to the comparable period of 2021.
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In the month of July 2022, POS transactions stood at N724.7 billion, representing the highest monthly value on record based on data tracked since July 2022.

A further check of the historical data showed that the value of POS transactions in Nigeria has almost tripled compared to 2018 when the NIBSS began the release of the data. In the seven months period of 2018, a total of N1.2 trillion worth of transactions were recorded, rising to N1.66 trillion in 2019 before the covid-19 pandemic triggered a significant rise in 2020.

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It is worth adding that the cumulative value of POS transactions recorded between January and July 2022, already represents 71.6% of the total N6.43 trillion recorded in the entire 2021.

There are several contributing factors to the increasing adoption of POS as a means of transaction by Nigerians. Some of these include:

It has become more difficult for Nigerians to access cash through the usual banking channels. Long queues and wait times, along with intermittent unavailability of cash in the ATM machines have frustrated patrons, leading to POS cashless payments becoming increasingly attractive.

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Several parts of the country continue to deal with insecurity, with reports of pick-pocketing and armed robberies being rife. These conditions make it unsafe for people to carry significant amounts of money in cash.

The rapid growth of POS is not just an avenue for payment but also withdrawals have filled a gap for many Nigerians who struggle to access cash through banking channels such as ATM or teller withdrawals. It has also helped in bringing the banking services closer to the rural areas, which do not have as many banks accessible to them.

The profitability of POS transactions for both banks and vendors has bolstered the growing deployment of POS. The cost of the transaction is often borne by the customers, creating profit for the POS operator and the bank.

In recent times, it has also served as a means of employment for Nigerian youths, who are building businesses through the offering of POS services.

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Transactions worth over N204.5 trillion were performed electronically in Nigeria between January and July 2022 through the NIBSS Instant Payment platform (NIP), representing a 40% increase compared to N145.8 trillion recorded in the same period of the previous year.

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Also, the NIP volume rose by 42% year-on-year to 2.7 billion transactions in the same period from 1.9 billion. This is a further indication of increased adoption of electronic payments as opposed to cash and more traditional ways of payments.

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Fidelity Bank Customers Lost N2.1bn As Fraud Cases Surge By 22.3%

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Theheute reports that Fidelity Bank Plc has suffered a whopping N2.1bn loss after the lender saw a surge in fraud and forgery cases in 2023.

This platform learned that an alleged fraud and forgery incidents rose by 22.2 per cent year-on-year from 2,518 recorded in 2022 to 3,079 in 2023, according to the bank’s financial statement.

The Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Act 2006, mandates banks to render monthly returns of frauds and forgeries.

Sections 35 and 36 of NDIC Act 2006, also mandate banks to notify the corporation of any staff dismissed or whose appointment was terminated on accounts of fraud or financial irregularities.

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The books disclosed that the amount involved in fraud and forgerie cases rose by 279.6 per cent to N3.82bn by the end of 2023, up from N1bn held as the amount of fraud and forgery cases in 2022.

Aside from fraud incidents on naira accounts, the bank also reported fraud cases in foreign currency to the tune of $15,700, up from the $8,554 recorded in 2022.

According to the data, the actual loss on naira accounts was N2.1bn, rising by 783 per cent from the N237.2m recorded as an actual loss in the year 2022.

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However, the data showed that the actual loss as a result of fraud cases in foreign currency fell from $2,450 in 2022 to only $200 by the end of 2023.

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The bank did not record a loss in Euro compared to 2022 when the bank lost €100 due to fraud and forgery activities.

Fidelity Bank is not the only Nigerian bank that has reported fraud and forgery cases.

A 2023 report on fraud and forgeries in Nigerian banks showed that N5.79bn was lost in just the second quarter of 2023.

Despite the surge in fraud cases, the bank grew its gross earnings from N337.1bn in 2022 to N555.8bn by the end of 2023.

Profit after tax of the lender grew by 131.4 per cent from N53.7bn to N124.3bn while the net profit of the bank surged to N99.45bn, from the N46.7bn recorded in 2022.

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Fidelity Bank also grew its total assets base from N3.98bn recorded in 2022 to N6.2bn by the end of 2023.

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Chinese chamber denies barring Nigerian shoppers from Abuja supermarket

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The China General Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria has given insight into the operation of a Chinese supermarket within the premises of the Royal Choice Estate, Airport Road, Abuja.

Theheute reports that the Abuja-based Chinese supermarket had come under criticism for refusing to allow Nigerians to shop in its facility.

The supermarket situated at the China General Chamber of Commerce, along Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Road in Abuja, is acclaimed as a destination for Chinese cuisine and beverages.

Nigerians had expressed outrage over a discriminatory policy implemented by the Chinese Supermarket, which restricted entry exclusively to its citizens and barred Nigerians.

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But After Theheute reports, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission sealed the supermarket.

The FCCPC officials shut the supermarket when they stormed the premises on Monday. The commission’s officials sealed up the place after interrogating Nigerian workers at the supermarket.

But reacting to the alleged discrimination in a statement by its Secretary, Mr. Cui Guangzheng, the China Chamber of Commerce explained that the estate housing both the supermarket and the commerce building was not entirely a supermarket.

He clarified that the Royal Choice Estate comprises an office complex and residential apartments.

According to the statement, the residential area of the estate consists of private residents who adhere to security protocols in granting access to external visitors.

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“The China Chamber of Commerce is one of several enterprises using the facility, and the supermarket in question is located in the residential area of the estate, which is unrelated to the China Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria,” the statement read.

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It added, “No individual was subjected to discrimination or denied access to the estate or supermarket to purchase groceries as widely believed.

“The China General Chamber of Commerce emphasized its commitment to equality and inclusiveness and welcomed first-hand visits to witness the truth.

“Our principles are to enhance friendship between the people of both countries and promote economic development.”

The chamber expressed regret over the altercation at the estate’s entrance gate between the security personnel and a customer, emphasizing that it does not reflect the official position of the estate management or the chamber of commerce.

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FG to execute $3.8bn gas supply agreement in May

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The Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement to support the Final Investment Decision for the $3.8bn Brass methanol project is to be executed in May 2024, the Federal Government announced on Monday.

The Brass methanol project is a major industrial project being built in Bayelsa State to produce methanol, a key industrial chemical, using natural gas resources. Nigeria currently imports all its methanol.

Located in Brass Island, Bayelsa, the facility is to have a capacity of 10,000 tonnes of methanol per day when completed, as it is still under construction and expected to be operational this year.

The $3.8bn is to create up to 15,000 jobs during construction and aims to boost the Nigerian economy by reducing reliance on imports.

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This project is a joint venture between DSV Engineering Limited, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, and the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, announced the execution date for the gas supply agreement in Abuja on Wednesday after a meeting with key stakeholders of the project in his office.

Ekpo, in a statement issued by his media aide, Louis Ibah, said the meeting was to confirm adequate gas supply to the Brass methanol project by the NNPC/Shell/TotalEnergies/NAOC Joint Venture.

He said the meeting was to also determine the next steps to conclude and execute the GSPA and mature the phase-2 of gas supply to the project.

Present at the meeting were the Head of Joint Venture, Investment Management, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, Mr Olanrewaju Igandan; and Deputy Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Mr Richard Orianzi.

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Others include the Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor; Managing Director of Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical Ltd, Mr Ben Okoye, among others.

Ekpo informed the gathering of President Bola Tinubu’s strong interest in resolving issues relating to gas supply to the Brass methanol project.

According to the Minister, the President was passionate about the speedy kick-off of the project so that it could bring in the much needed Foreign Direct Iinvestment with attendant economic benefits to the country.

“Mr President is very passionate about this project and wants something positive to happen in respect of the Brass methanol project before the end of May this year,” Ekpo said.

The Brass methanol project is sponsored by Brass Fertiliser & Petrochemical Company Limited and it is made up of a gas processing plant, a methanol production and refining plant, product export facilities, among others.

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At the end of the meeting, Ekpo announced he had successfully resolved the GSPA issue and that it would be executed by May this year.

“The NNPC/SPDC JV partners are now fully committed to uninterrupted gas supply for the development of the Brass methanol project,” the gas minister stated.

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