The financial inclusion and the cashless policy initiatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week got uplifted following Stanbic IBTC Bank and the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Project, on mobile conditional cash transfer programme tagged ‘Moni for my Phone.’
The SURE-P MCH mobile conditional cash transfer programme is part of a scheme being implemented in the Federal Capital Territory and 17 other states in support of SURE-P MCH’s demand-side interventions in the health sector. The service, now rolling out in selected primary healthcare centres across the country, will enable Nigerian women living in the rural and hard-to-reach locations in the country to receive cash through Stanbic IBTC’s mobile money service as incentive for their increased accessibility and utilisation of maternal and child health services.
Speaking during the launch at Dobi Primary Health Care Centre, Gwagwalada, Abuja, on December 2, 2014, Obinnia Abajue, executive director, personal and business banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, said “the partnership represents another major way to leverage evolving technologies and partnerships to enhance value propositions and bring affordable financial services closer to Nigerians.” The service will leverage Stanbic IBTC Bank’s unique bulk payment solutions to transfer money seamlessly and instantly into mobile money accounts, he said.
“We are very pleased to partner with SURE-P MCH project on this strategic initiative. The partnership will help in actualising our goal of enhancing access to mobile money services by more Nigerians through the Stanbic IBTC mobile money platform. This collaboration provides another entry point for fast and convenient means of sending and receiving money, and further demonstrates our commitment to continuously deliver innovative products and solutions, part of which includes enhancing the robustness of our mobile banking and mobile payments systems,” Abajue said.
Abajue described mobile money as a game changer, which apart from enabling customers to conduct basic financial transactions such as mobile money account opening, buying airtime, deposit and receipt of cash, as well as payment of utility bills through their mobile phones, also offered enormous benefits to the Nigerian economy by channelling the huge funds in the informal sector through the banking system to engender economic development.
He said it was in recognition of the need for market-driven partnerships and alliances with the different stakeholders in the mobile money value chain that Stanbic IBTC Bank went into partnerships with the four major telecom operators in Nigeria, enabling mobile payment services to take root, proliferate, and scale up across the country.
On his part, Ado J.G. Muhammed, executive director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said “the SURE-P MCH project is an initiative that builds on the gains of the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) and is utilising a combination of supply and demand-side interventions to provide health services to more Nigerian women and children.”
He identified states where the mobile conditional cash transfer programme will be implemented to include Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, and Ebonyi. Others are Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara.
Only recently, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) appointed Stanbic IBTC Bank to disburse monthly stipends through its mobile money and revolutionary biometric payment solutions to pregnant and nursing mothers in an initiative expected to run over the next five years. The disbursements, which commenced in April 2014, will be officially launched very soon.
Stanbic IBTC Bank is a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings plc, a full-service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking, and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group, to which Stanbic IBTC Holdings belongs, is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 key sub-Saharan countries and other emerging markets; Standard Bank has been in operation for 151 years and is focused on building first-class on-the-ground banks in chosen countries in Africa and connecting other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other.
SOURCE: Businessday Online (Nigeria)
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