The value of e-payment transactions dropped to N37.67 trillion in February 2023, largely due to the lack of robust infrastructure. Some stakeholders had opined that telcos cannot be exempted from the failed mobile transactions in the last few months.
According to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, cashless payment gateways were used 901.46 million times in February, up from 638 million in January. Despite an increase in usage, the total value of cashless transactions fell in February, indicating that the number of failed transactions increased.
Since 2020, the NIBSS has not updated its efficiency platform portal, which displays the number of failed transitions and other data, making it difficult to report the number of failed transactions.
However, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has come out to defend operators, saying that the country’s telecommunication networks can absorb the surge in demand for cashless transactions that have been recorded since late 2022.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during an event to commemorate the ‘2023 World Consumer Rights Day in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said, “By the time cashless banking fully took off in late 2022, the connectivity platforms on which electronic transactions ride will have become robust to the extent of being able to absorb the surge in demand for cashless transactions.”
He also stated that the commission has continued to implement the policy that has improved access to broadband connectivity and has constantly alerted consumers to cyber threats that could have resulted in the compromise of their financial profiles through the execution of malicious code by threat actors through its Computer Security Incident Response Team.
According to Danbatta, the launch of 5G in the country will increase the deployment of telecom infrastructure, resulting in high demand for data services and increased energy consumption for network infrastructure.
On the theme of ‘Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy Transition,’ he stated that it was time for the industry to start exploring green and sustainable power solutions.
He said, “Owing to the overall energy challenges of the nation, the 54,000 Base Transceiver Stations scattered across the country depend on diesel generators with the attendant noise and environmental pollution.
“Some of these BTS operate on diesel generators for 24 hours across seven days of the week in some locations. Therefore, transitioning to a renewable energy source like solar power will significantly reduce the menace of pollution from individually-powered generators.”
He added that the commission is currently working, with other relevant agencies, to develop regulations on e-waste.