Cash hoarding: Publish evidence of collusion, AMBAN dares EFCC

The Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, AMBAN, has challenged the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, to publish evidence alleging point-of-sale agents were conspiring with bank officials to hoard cash.

This was disclosed in a statement, signed by the National General Secretary, AMBAN, Oluwasegun Elegbede.

It stated, “We want to address the recent report credited to the EFCC that agents collude with bank staff to hoard cash or engage in buying and selling cash. We find this report not only misleading but also damaging to the reputation of our members, who are law-abiding citizens.

“Our association finds it criminal for anyone to buy and sell cash, as our role is to bring succour to the general populace at a convenient cost to serve.

“We urge the EFCC to provide substantial evidence, not generalizing, to support their claims and to avoid making statements that can tarnish the image of hardworking and dedicated agents who have contributed significantly to financial inclusion in Nigeria.”

The association further denied the claim that the POS agents were responsible for cash scarcity, saying, “It should be noted that we are equally facing this challenge because agents are not given any preferences in accessing cash from the banks. It has been a long standing demand of ours, that the CBN categorize agents into different tiers to enable them to have access to cash, rather than seeing them as individuals with a limit of N500,000.

“This will help to address the current cash scarcity and promote financial inclusion.”

The association also faulted the Corporate Affairs Commission’s directive on POS agent registration, stating that the directive was unbearable.

“AMMBAN strongly disagrees with the recent directive by the Corporate Affairs Commission that all PoS agents must register with it, regardless of their status as individuals or non-individuals.

“We believe this directive is unnecessary, contradictory to existing laws, and amounts to a mere revenue generation move to further tax hapless Nigerians,” it stated.

The association further said the commission’s claim of fighting crimes through registration was a means to generate revenue from POS agents across the country.

“We disagree with the CAC’s claim that it wants to fight crimes in the agency’s banking business space through registration. We believe that there are crimes in space, both human and technical, that CAC registration cannot fight.

“We see their efforts as merely a revenue generation move to further tax hapless Nigerians who are trying to get by,” the association stated.

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