Nigeria:CBN Blocks Plan To Create TSA Payment Gateways

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has told Interswitch, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), eTranzact and other payment processors in the country that the apex bank would not replicate the Treasury Single Account (TSA) payment gateway powered by Remita.

In an audacious move, Interswitch in collaboration with NIBSS wrote a petition to the apex bank, seeking the replication of the TSA gateway while tagging the present arrangement “monopoly”. But the CBN management reportedly told the aggrieved party in a meeting attended by all the payment processors that the TSA architecture met international best practices and, as such, the apex bank will not have more than one gateway.

The TSA payment gateway was connected to the apex bank’s core banking application, powered by T24, Real-Time Gross Settlement Systems (RTGS) and National Electronic Fund Transfer System (NEFT). Barely a month following the full implementation of the TSA, a congruence of opposition is building a case against a policy that many said is arguably Nigeria’s single most important initiative to tackle corruption and abuse in the management of public funds.

The opposition is coming mainly from expected sources: competing payment platforms that are griping over being left in the cold, banks that are the major beneficiaries of the corruption-laden processes that the TSA have replaced, and senior civil servants who believe that they are the primary target of the project.