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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Pan-African payment platform will reduce use of forex in continental trade ~CBN

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Nigeria’s central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele has said that the pan-African payment and settlement system (PAPSS) will simplify cross-border transactions and reduce third currencies for intra-African trade.

Emefiele, who spoke on Thursday in Accra, Ghana, at the launching of PAPSS, said the launch of PAPPS is a milestone reflecting collective efforts in building an infrastructure that enhances payment gateway across West Africa.

He added that the platform would benefit households, businesses, and financial institutions towards Africa’s growth as well as formalise trading activities not reflected in the official trade data.

“For example, businesses can be assured of an efficient and reliable payment gateway that supports the instant flow of funds and relatively the use of safe payment channels that usually comes at a high cost to households and businesses,” Emefiele said.

“Prior to the launch of PAPSS, settlements for intra Africa trade required a third currency and a non-African correspondent bank. This resulted in an estimated loss of close to $5 billion annually and undermined trade in Africa countries.

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“The launch of  PAPPS gives the fresh opportunity and aspiration for the African continent. It will simplify cross-border transactions, reduce third currencies for intra-African transactions and remove the need for correspondent Banks and ultimately amplify intra trade significantly.”

“As a percentage of total trade, intra-African trade is expected to increase to 35 percent from 15 percent in five years with infrastructure provided by PAPSS as payments and settlements are resolved.

“With the growing pace of digitisation in financial services which has been accelerated from the onset of the COVID-19ovid-19 pandemic, PAPPS can serve as a viable platform for supporting e-commerce in Africa.”

The CBN governor said Nigeria is excited by the potential of PAPSS, and “that is the reason we participated actively in the programme, and we have put our best efforts to ensure the realisation of the payment platform.”

Emefiele said CBN would continue to facilitate the widespread adoption, acceptance and implementation of PAPSS.

“CBN will ensure the financial institutions under its jurisdiction accept PAPSS and recommend it to businesses across Nigeria,” he said.

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