ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Key issues from last year’s ICT Clinic [ICT Clinic]

Welcome to the start of a brand new year and decade. I can faintly remember that during my teenage years there was this massive campaign of Vision 2020.

Those pushing the campaign tried to sell to us the vision of a Nigeria that would be largely developed by 2020. Well, this is 2020! Can we really say that there are a lot of differences between Nigeria then and now?

The ICT Clinic column (now in its seventh year) has over the years, centred on driving the Nigerian economy, through technological innovations, by empowering start-ups, as well as, advocate policy drives, in line with modern trends in technology and the intention is to continue in this tradition.

Well, for the first edition of the year 2020, I will be publishing excerpts of some of the top contents published here last year alongside the impact or value to the growth of the innovation ecosystem and the development of technology in general.

Retrogressive policies hurting cashless system

Let me kick off with an interesting development that came up sometime in September 2019, the CBN introduced a N50 stamp duty for successful PoS transactions, with value starting from N1,000.

In my ICT Clinic column of Sunday, November 24, 2019, titled “Retrogressive policies hurting cashless system”, I wrote the following: “What does this mean? This, in essence, means that the ground that we have covered in the drive towards getting the citizens to embrace the cashless policy may be reversed and it appears that we are now on a descent, taking huge steps backwards, thus, defeating the whole essence of what the government, through the CBN, sets out to achieve through the introduction of the cashless policy.

“Let’s not forget that there is the challenge of certain individuals, who do not believe in keeping their funds in banks. They are not at home with the N50 bank charge on any transaction of N1,000 and above being imposed on the PoS transactions. They will rather transact their business using cash.”

I concluded that piece by writing as follows: “The government, should not in one breath be advocating a cashless policy that aims at decreasing the volume of physical cash in the economy and at the same time discouraging the use of the PoS, which is an electronic form of transaction that is not cash-based. The government should, therefore, look elsewhere to generate more revenue to fund the national budget and put a permanent hold on charges on the PoS transactions, to encourage its use for faster adoption of the cashless policy and the desired financial inclusion of Nigerian citizens.”

I was elated when I received the news of the reversal by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC on Tuesday December 24, 2019. This is a very smart move for a country that now has a minister of digital economy – it has to go beyond words and translate into real actions.

Supporting homegrown solutions and start-ups

In my ICT Clinic column of Sunday, January 13, 2019, titled; “Supporting homegrown solutions and — Finish Reading on the Punch

About the author

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr

CFA hosts Tech Trends on Channels Television, writes the ICT Column in the Punch Newspapers & also blogs on cfagbata.com.

CFA currently serves as the African Regional Director of Founder Institute.

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