Central Bank of Nigeria adopts SWIFT infrastructure

Central Bank of Nigeria goes live on SWIFTThe Central Bank of Nigeria’s high value payment system has gone live on SWIFT

According to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the move is a key element of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Payment System Vision 2020 (PSV2020), which calls for a ‘nationally utilised and internationally recognised’ payments system and provides a robust platform to support Nigeria’s continued economic growth.

Dipo Fatokun, director of the banking and payments system department at Central Bank of Nigeria, said, “The importance of the payments system in any market economy cannot be over-emphasised.

“In particular, the link between the efficiency of the payments system, the effectiveness with which monetary policy is conducted, the soundness of the financial sector and, indeed, the overall performance of the economy is very strong. Thus, central banks the world over have a strong interest in the development of payments and settlement systems,” he added.

The adoption of SWIFT for the infrastructure of Nigeria’s high-value payments - via its Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system - will support improvements in interoperability of the country’s financial infrastructure, helping to improve settlement security and eliminate risk, SWIFT said.

The society added that SWIFT connectivity ensures Nigeria complies with global standards for critical payment infrastructure as set out by the Bank for International Settlements.

According to SWIFT, the move is also an important step for Nigeria within the West African Monetary Zone - comprising of The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone - that plan to introduce a single currency and use a common payment system in order to boost regional trade and investment.

Hugo Smit, head of Africa South at SWIFT, said, “By ensuring that Nigeria’s infrastructure is interoperable with both regional and international platforms, the move to SWIFT means that the Nigerian financial community will be easily able to interoperate within the West African Monetary Zone as this regional harmonisation project matures.”

Fatokun continued, “The support of SWIFT and all other stakeholders for the development of the national payments system is most needed not only in Nigeria but also in the WAMZ region.”

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