The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a fresh directive for the commencement of the end-to-end electronic payment of salaries, pensions, suppliers, and taxes.
This is even as the apex bank has pledged to increase the funding of the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) due to the success of the programme in the North East.
The CBN issued the directive in a circular posted on its website and signed by Mr. Sam Okojere, Director of Payments System Management Department. The apex bank said the directive would help to enhance the adoption of electronic payment while ensuring stability in the payment system.
The regulator said further to the implementation of the guideline, commercial banks were to dishonour payment instructions not transmitted through a bank’s approved electronic payment and collection platform.
It said that the new system meant payment instructions and associated schedules would no longer to be transmitted to banks through unsecured channels by qualifying public and private sector organisations.
The apex bank added that enforcement of the directive shall be effective from the date of the issuance of the regulation.
The objective of the end-to-end electronic payment of salaries, pensions, suppliers and taxes initiative is fully aligned with the core objectives of the National Payment System, Vision 2020 (PSV2020). PSV2020 is to ensure the availability of safe, effective and efficient mechanisms for conveniently making and receiving all types of payments from any location and at any time, through multiple electronic channels.
This will reduce the time and costs of transactions, minimise leakages in revenue receipts and at the same time provide reliable audit trails, thereby making the Nigerian payments system align with international best practices.
Meanwhile, Mr. Edwin Ezelu, CBN Deputy Director of Development and Finance, la at a formal ceremony marking the repayment of the ABP loan given to the North East Commodity Association (NECAS), said in light of the success of the ABP, with the repayment of N1.5 billion and the cultivation of 37,904 100kg. bags of maize, sorghum, rice and soyabeans, which is equivalent to 3,709 tonnes, by farmers under NECAS.
Ezelu reiterated the commitment of the CBN in ensuring the timely release of funds to farmers, particularly those who had proved their worth, adding that the bank’s resolve was aimed at facilitating the achievement of the Federal Government’s plans to boost the country’s food security and agricultural value chain.
“Since 1977, CBN has been carrying out interventions in the agricultural development of Nigeria.
“As part of efforts to tackle the challenges confronting agriculture, agribusiness and smallholder farmers, who are the drivers of the nation’s agricultural value chain, the Anchor Borrowers Programme was born,’’ he said.
Ezelu stressed that the CBN would not relent in its efforts to support the country’s farmers, saying that ABP was part of bank’s strategies aimed at creating scientific solutions to the challenges facing Nigeria’s food security.
He said that the North East success story would serve as an eye-opener to farmers while encouraging them to embrace the programme in efforts to expand their farming activities and boost food production.
“It has become imperative because it is aimed at creating economic linkages between smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors, with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilisation of integrated mills’’, he said.

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