The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), revealed that deployment of automated teller machines (ATMs) by commercial banks in the country is currently in deficit of 72.33 per cent.
The NIBSS, in its latest industry report, said that the ATMs installed by commercial banks in the country have risen to 16,600, against the required number of 60,000 units of the banking and payment facility pegged by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The NIBSS’s report, however, indicated that despite the shortfall in the required number of the facility needed to better serve the mushrooming ATM users in the country, banks have, over time, grown the figure by 25 per cent from an initial 12,000 that had always been generally quoted in the industry.
In the industry review up to the end of first quarter of 2016, it was chronicled that the country’s recorded total number of ATMs in March 2016 stood at 16,660, total number of active cards, 41.89m and volume and value of ATM transactions for January and March, 2016, stood at N0.12bn and N1.07trn respectively.
The Executive Director, Technology and Operations, NIBSS, Mr Niyi Ajao, said: “The ATM is an important component of the CBN’s cashless policy, an initiative projected to save banks over N200bn cost of processing, handling and managing cash.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), James Agada, stated in an interview, in Lagos, that though the number of ATMs deployed across Nigeria fell short of the apex bank’s requirement, the situation had not deterred users.
Agreeing that there were issues around ATM deployment and usage in Nigeria, Agada said that many of such problems were overstated.
“The core issue we have with the ATMs are that we don’t have enough of them and the few around are overwhelmed,” he said.
“From an assessment carried out, the average ATM in Nigeria dispenses thrice the number of notes in Ghana and 10 times the number of notes in U.K.”