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NSE Launches X-Bot to Enhance Market Participation

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, has launched the X-Bot, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Chatbot that responds directly and automatically to enquiries through Facebook Messenger.

The X-Bot which is the first African securities exchange Chatbot is designed to provide market participants, especially retail investors, convenient, faster and real-time access to data and information from the Exchange.

Commenting on X-Bot, the CEO of the Exchange, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, noted that the introduction of X-Bot is in line with the NSE’s drive to improve market participation through greater access to market information.

“We aim for an Exchange that is easily accessible and actively matches investors’ increased thirst for information and detailed disclosure information to make sound investment decisions. With X-Bot, investors in our market can access on-demand market information, news and events on the activities of the Exchange and the various products and instruments that are listed and traded on it”.

“The Exchange has always been at the forefront of innovation, and the launch of the X-Bot marks yet another significant milestone in our continuous adoption of new technologies with a customer-centric focus to make financial services more inclusive and to provide a superior customer experience in the access and use of capital”, said Onyema.

On his part, the Head, Regulatory Technology (RegTech), NSE, Mr. John Adelana stated that “Customer experience is a key priority for NSE and we are deeply committed to constantly improving it. With the launch of X-Bot, NSE becomes the first African securities exchange to launch a customer interactive machine learning chatbot, which contributes to facilitating and accelerating the process of providing information to market participants.

“We are particularly excited about the ability of X-Bot to learn through customers interactions and become better at providing our customers with more relevant and timelier solutions overtime”.

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E-Financial

Banks Set Up Special Funds for ICT, Other Sectors

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Bankers Committee has said it is setting aside special funds to provide capacity and support to the creative and the ICT industries.

 

The initiative will be funded from at least 5 percent of the Agriculture/SME Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) fund.

 

The AGSMEIS is a special fund that sees the banks’ reserve 5 percent of their profits after tax to fund agriculture and small businesses.

 

The fund was tipped to reach N90bn by the end of 2018.

 

Briefing journalists at the end of 342nd Bankers Committee meeting held in Abuja Mr. Herbert Wigwe, MD/CEO Access Bank, said the intervention would be specially set aside for the music, movies, fashion and ICT sectors.

 

“The Bankers Committee after a lot research identified the ICT and the creative sectors as critical sectors to support social and inclusive growth in Nigeria. We found out that that sector will generate significant amount of jobs and contribute to GDP growth’’ he said while explaining the reasons for the direct interventions in those areas.

 

He also said that the funding would be under a reasonable interest rate and structure until they become profitable, adding that hopefully Nigeria should begin to see the impact in the next quarter.

 

Also commenting, Dr. Mudashiru Olaitan, director Development Finance, CBN, said with the support, the 37 million MSMEs in Nigeria will be able to support more jobs.

 

The Bankers Committee is also looking at providing shared power facilities to power the MSMEs for productivity he said adding that already the pilots have commenced in Aba, Kano, Lagos and Ibadan.

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E-Financial

FIRS Lifts Ban on Bank Accounts of Tax Defaulters

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Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has written to banks, directing them to lift the lien on tax defaulters’ bank accounts for 30 days.

 

The directive, which takes immediate effect, was contained in a letter from Tunde Fowler, chairman, FIRS, to bank managing directors.

 

The FIRS explained that it issued the directive because of the large number of taxpayers, who have besieged its offices in their bid to regularize their tax positions and the inconveniences they are going through.

 

In September 2018, Tunde Fowler, FIRS chairman, said the service was going after 6,772 tax defaulters, stating that they would have their account frozen till they pay due taxes.

 

“So, all these ones of TIN and no pay and no TIN and no pay, to the total of 6772 will have their accounts frozen or put under substitution pending when they come forward,” Fowler had said.

 

KPMG, one of the Big Four auditors in the world, said on Thursday that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has gone draconian by giving fiats to banks to freeze accounts of suspected tax defaulters.

 

KPMG said “nothing in the CITA or FIRSEA authorises the FIRS to impose a freeze order on a taxpayer’s bank account beyond the amount of tax proven to be due and payable by that taxpayer”.

 

It added that the move was in contravention of CITA, and breaches the confidentiality between the banks and their clients.

 

“Generally, a bank has a fiduciary obligation to maintain the confidentiality of its customers and their transactions, and to prevent third-party access to the customers’ account information,” KPMG had said.

 

 

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E-Financial

CBN Orders Banks to Send Politically Exposed Persons Data to NIBSS

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Micro-Finance Banks (MFBs) and other financial institutions to send data fields on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) as part of the Industry Customer Account Database (ICAD) submitted to the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).

 

Mr. Dipo Fatokun, director, Banking Services Department, in circular posted on its website, said that the need for the additional information was due to: “the growing demand for more detailed information on bank accounts, for economic intelligence analysis.”

The CBN stated: “Please recall that the Management of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to forward customers account details in a specified format to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), with a view to maintaining an Industry Customer Account Database (!CAD). The initiative contributed immensely towards improving the efficiency and safety of electronic payments in Nigeria.

 

“In view of the growing demand for more detailed information on bank accounts, for economic intelligence analysis, it has become necessary to expand the coverage of the required data on customers’ accounts. Consequently, two new data fields, covering Politically Exposed Person – PEP (Y/Nl and Sector code have been added to the existing fields on ICAD. “

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