The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefele, said electronic transaction (eTransaction) volumes have increased by about 67 per cent during the COVID-19 lockdown with increased transactions at agent networks.
The Head, Corporate Communication and External Relation, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos, Nelson Olagundoye, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, November 12.
Olagundoye quoted Emefiele who disclosed this during the 20th edition of the National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges.
The seminar was organised by the CIBN, in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI), under the auspices of the Bankers Committee of CBN.
Techeconomy.ng gathered that the CBN governor was represented by the Deputy Governor of CBN, Aisha Ahmad, at the seminar.
He said the payment system infrastructure accommodated the surge as more citizens moved to electronic channels.
According to him, the banking and payments system was able to retain its operational resilience, maintaining availability of electronic payment and mobile banking channels.
The apex bank boss, who underscored the role of technology, explained that this was in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ‘’unraveled itself as a global health and economic crisis of seismic proportions’’.
Emefele also explained that domestic and international travel and global trade value chains had suffered severe disruptions, with a significant negative impact on financial markets, the financial services industry, oil and gas, health, transport & aviation, education, hospitality, and tourism, to mention just a few.
He said: “Individuals, families, businesses, industries, economies, countries – all have had to adapt to a new normal, even as global coronavirus cases continue to rise above 50 million.
“The effects of the pandemic, particularly the crash in international oil prices, disruption in trade value chains and muted business activities during the lockdowns have severely impacted economic output and heightened domestic macroeconomic vulnerabilities with GDP growth for Q2 2020 contracting by 6.10%per cent compared to 1.87per cent growth in Q1, 2020, a decline of -7.9per cent.
“Electronic trials should be used to complement traditional court hearings to clear backlog and improve the speed of dispensation of justice.
“The judicial system must keep abreast of the transformations to be in a pole position to adjudicate cases presented by the financial sector.
“The sector should ramp up investments in critical infrastructure (hardware and software) needed to function in the new normal.
“Above all, continuous learning and capacity development in ICT skills is critical for the judiciary to maintain its support for the financial services industry in its intermediation role.”
Bayo Olugbemi, President/Chairman of CIBN, was also quoted in the statement as saying that the banking industry had embraced the innovations accompanying what is now known as the “New Normal”.
Olugbemi said: ”With the option of working from home now more of a reality than ever, banks and other financial institutions have further leveraged on technological advancements to improve the efficiency of services, operations, compliance and regulations.”