The African Union, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and AfCFTA on Thursday commercially inaugurated the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), thereby making it available for use by the public.
PAPSS is a cross-border, financial market infrastructure enabling payment transactions across Africa, bridging the challenges of trade in a continent with over 41 known currencies.
PAPSS ensures instant or near-instant transfers of funds between originators in one African country and beneficiaries in another.
The commercial launch of PAPSS took place in Accra, Ghana, virtually and physically.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Mike Ogbalu 111, CEO of PAPSS, said that the feat was a step forward toward in the continent’s collective journey toward self-reliance.
“A journey that is leading us to the prosperous Africa of our dreams as espoused in the African Union’s Agenda 2063: the Africa We Want.
“Our progress on this journey has as its guiding light a clear shared vision and unity of purpose. But this, like every journey also requires critical infrastructure to accelerate the fundamental elements that will underpin a prosperous continent.
“A prosperous continent is a trading continent; a continent that builds and retains wealth from its goods and services.
“Governments, businesses, and individuals consume goods and services which they obtain in exchange for value. The fundamental means by which value is exchanged or traded is through payments.
“The more efficient payment systems are, the higher the velocity of value exchange and consequently, the higher the volume and value of trade and our subsequent prosperity.”
According to him, at a continental level, establishing an efficient payment infrastructure will go a long way to eliminate the artificial borders that have divided the continent and robbed us of our shared prosperity.
On some of the benefits of a Pan-Africa payment and settlement system, Ogbalu 111 said it would be the enabling infrastructure to spur the growth of intra-African trade and commerce.
“This is with the active participation of central banks, financial institutions, regional economic communities, private sectors, and other stakeholders.
“Payment infrastructure have existed at both national and sub-regional levels for a while.
“These systems, however, lack interoperability, fragmented national and regional payment systems cannot stimulate pan-African economic development and intra-African trade at the pace required to significantly increase the percentage of trade amongst African countries.
“While these national and regional payment systems have made a good start, bringing about significant modernisation within their jurisdictions.
“It is paramount that we now integrate all of Africa financially to hasten the pace of economic growth in the continent,’’ Ogbalu urged.
Also, HE Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, AfCFTA Secretariat, affirmed that the pioneering effort at achieving a pan African payments and settlements system would enable Africa to reduce reliance on third currencies.
According to him, it also has the potential to significantly boost intra-Africa trade.
The PAPSS project started in 2016 with various engagements to understand the existing regional payment systems, their pros, and cons and how best to approach the establishment of an Africa-wide payments infrastructure.
Engagements took place with Regional Economic Communities including COMESA, East African Community, and SADC, as well as with all major payment systems operators in Africa.
Furthermore, discussions with the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) commenced in 2017 and following successful interactions with them, the Central Bank Governors of the Zone agreed to implement a pilot scheme of the system as a proof of concept.
Subsequently, systems development commenced as well as development of the regulatory framework including the PAPSS Bye Law, Scheme Rules and Membership Agreements and other establishment structures required for instituting the system.
In 2019, at its 12th Extra Ordinary summit held in Niamey, Niger on July 7, 2019, the Assembly of the African Union (AU) launched PAPSS and adopted it as a key instrument for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
This was a great milestone as PAPSS was endorsed as the required payment system in Africa.
Following this mandate by the African Union, the partners embarked on further system development, and instituted a strong governance structure.
The PAPSS pilot in WAMZ central banks has been completed and all six Central Banks have tested and gone through the trial operations.
In the last week of August 2021, all the Central Banks became live on the system and have since been sending through live transactions across the WAMZ region.
Engagements with other Central Banks in Africa have commenced in earnest and there is focus on regional payment systems to ensure bulk/group connection.
With every bank onboarded to PAPSS, thousands of their clients would be enabled to trade within Africa.
NIMASA DG calls for contributory pension for dockworkers
…As agency hosts maiden ‘day of the dockworker’ event
By Seun Ibiyemi
It was a milestone event for the local maritime industry as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) hosted the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos recently.
With the theme of the event being “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity,” it was an opportunity for stakeholders gathered to not just appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers at the center of the nation’s import-dependent economy, but also to focus on ways of improving their health and general well-being.
Delivering his welcome address at the event, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasising the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.
According to Dr. Jamoh, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month.”
Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas.”
On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address, thanked the NIMASA Management for organising the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.
In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).
Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.
LCCI tasks govt on transparent FX regime, multinationals’ engagement
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has implored the government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.
Its Director-General, Dr Chinyere Almona, gave the advice on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the recent announcement of Procter & Gamble to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model.
Recall that the Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, had said this move would effectively dissolve its on-ground presence in the country.
Almona noted that over the last few months, there had been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by multinationals, saying the trend was worrisome.
She stated that the country’s lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, had taken a toll on many businesses in the country.
She recommended that the government should implement measures to stabilise and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments.
“Further, the chamber urges the government to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.
”The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prioritise the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability,” she said.
Tinubu appoints Omatsola Ogbe as new ES of NCDMB
President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe as Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale appointed new board members for the NCDMB.
According to the Spokesperson to the President, the President in conformity with Sections 71(1), 72, and 73 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) approved the appointment of qualified Nigerians to serve on the Governing Council and Management team of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The newly appointed board members include:Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri — Chairman / HMS, Petroleum Resources, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe — Executive Secretary, Oritsemyiwa Eyesan — Member / EVP Upstream, NNPC Ltd, Gbenga Komolafe — Member / CEO, NUPRC, Bekearedebo Augusta Warrens — Member, Nicolas Odinuwe — Member, Rapheal Samuel — Member, Sadiq Abubakar — Member, Olorundare Sunday Thomas — Member.
Ajuri noted that the President expects the new appointees to discharge their duties with his patriotic resolve to significantly enhance indigenous industry participation in the energy sector as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda’s mandate to achieve the goal of 70 percent indigenous content and participation in the nation’s energy industry during the lifespan of this administration.
Tinubu calls for good governance at 64th ECOWAS Session
Naira notes: There’s sufficient stock for economic activities, CBN assures Nigerians
NOA lauds Dangote’s oil production in Lagos
forecasts 3-day sunshine, haziness from SundayNiMet
Kidnapping: Senator tasks NASS on new robust strategies
Military neutralises terrorist kingpin, others in Niger air strikes – NAF
ECOWAS meeting holding in Abuja
Transforming Nigeria’s oil and gas industry: Overcoming challenges by employing advanced technologies for improved production efficiency, security as a driver for economic growth
Nigeria to resume production of 275,000 bpd, as NNPC resolves PENGASSAN-TotalEnergies rift
Premium on display: LG showcases world first wheel TV, other products at Korea national day
Digitising agriculture will boost farmers productivity, GDP – DG NITDA
Oil theft: FG lauds Navy for rising crude oil production
Construction of Ibadan internal roads to begin in weeks – Makinde
Saturdays in Port Harcourt
News6 years ago
NLC, NUT shock El-Rufai with massive protest
Politics4 years ago
Implementation of N30,000 minimum wage depends on each State’s capacity -Governor’s Forum
Energy6 years ago
Cost reflective tariff, our challenge – Ikeja Electric
News8 years ago
Wema Bank awarded two ISO Certifications
News6 years ago
2019: OBJ lobbies Tinubu, Kwankwaso, Duke in new party
News8 years ago
10 dead, 4 rescued as shipping mall collapse in Ogun
News7 years ago
Relocation to Ghana: Nigeria to lose $12bn foreign airlines investments
News7 years ago
Ekweremadu visits Fani Kayode, Abati, others in EFCC cell