Nigeria Will not Licence Telcos for MobileMoney - Lemo

NIGERIA COMMUNICATIONS WEEK

JANUARY 14,2013

 

Tunde Lemo, deputy governor, Operations, at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pooh-poohed what appeared to be the global model for mobile money payment system, the Kenya Mpessa stating that it has only helped in creating a monopolistic bohemia.

Lemo said in view of the Kenyan experience, Nigeria would not licence mobile operators in the country despite public demand for the telcos to be so licenced.

The CBN deputy governor said: “We cannot licence telcos to operator mobile money because they lack the capacity to do so. What we are doing in Nigeria is to licence mobile money operators and then ask them to go and discuss with the telco who will provide them (licenced operators) with the technological platform for their business.”

He noted that licencing telcos as mobile money operators would bring untold hardships to consumers as the mobile operators could hold the economy to ransom.

“It is like this, they (telcos) have the technology to drive the mobile money business. What will happen if they are licenced is that they would make it extremely difficult for the other operators using their platforms optimally because they would seen as competing operators.”

Lemo said the Kenyan experience was not a good model for Nigeria. “I am sure if the Kenyan central bank had to do it again, they would do it differently because what Mpesa has done is to create one big monopoly for the country. A single operator controls 90 per cent of that country’s mobile money payment, is not really good enough for any economy.”

Despite the CBN deputy governor’s misgivings, Mpesa continue to draw global accolades as an African success from which the entire world draw lessons on mobile money payment.

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