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PoS terminals are used to pay ransom – FG justifies registration of operators | read details 

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PoS terminals are used to pay ransom – FG justifies registration of operators | read details 

The Federal Government of Nigeria, has justified it’s directive for PoS operators to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC noting that it will help in fighting kidnapping.

Speaking at the formal launch of the CAC registration of agents and merchants of fintechs on Wednesday in Abuja, Registrar-General, CAC, Hussaini Magaji, said registration of 1.9million PoS terminals will help get data which security agencies can access in cases of kidnapping and ransom.

 

He also revealed that security agencies would go after PoS operators who fail to comply with the directive to register with the CAC after July 7, 2024.

 

The event also marked the unveiling of a 24-hour service centre to help prospective applicants get a prompt response to enquiries and approvals.

 

The government had through the commission on Monday issued a two-month registration deadline for PoS operators to register as corporate bodies with the commission in line with the legal requirements and directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

 

The action backed by Section 863, Subsection 1 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA 2020 as well as the 2013 CBN guidelines on agent banking aims to safeguard businesses and strengthen the economy.

 

It also came against the backdrop of frequent fraud incidents involving PoS terminals and plans to stop trading in cryptocurrency or any virtual currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

 

 

PoS terminals accounted for 26.37 per cent of fraud incidents in 2023, according to a fraud report by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc.

 

Last week, the CBN stopped major fintech firms like Kuda, Opay, PalmPay and Moniepoint from onboarding new customers. The fintech firms later warned their customers against trading in cryptocurrency or any virtual currency on their apps, threatening to block any accounts found engaging in such activities.

 

Speaking at the event, Hussaini reiterated the government’s resolve to fully implement the mandate by providing a fully digitised service centre for easy registration.

 

He emphasised that the registration process aligns with both legal requirements and the directives of the CBN mandating individual, merchant or business entities to be captured in its database.

 

He further warned that the 60-day deadline would not be extended while stressing that defaulters would receive adequate punishments after the deadline.

 

He said, “We have launched a 24-hour service centre to accommodate enquiries from Point of Sales operators and agents who may want to register as directed by the new policy. The secretariat is filled with staff members who have the responsibility of availability, and some are being saddled with the responsibility of approving requests. We have equipped the secretariat with the necessary facilities.

 

“This is to show you how the government is taking this issue seriously and the centre will be open for a 24-hour service. It will be open for compliance and any feedback from the public especially PoS operators who have been mandated to register their businesses with the commission.”

 

He added, “We have trained our staff to accommodate these activities and these staff can work from home and that’s why we said 24-hour service. We have equipped them with facilities and they can work from home for approvals and availability segment. The deadline remains 60 days and it will end July 7th.”

 

The CAC boss further stated that the timeline was not intended to target specific groups or individuals but genuinely aimed at safeguarding businesses.

 

The CAC boss explained, “Of course, the mandatory registration will reduce crime and fraudulent practices, the commission is hosting data and if any crime is committed anywhere, the security agencies would have to reach us to know the people behind the company and the fraudsters. But if they are not registered, we can’t do anything and that’s the essence of the registration.

 

“We have had a situation where a ransom is being paid with a PoS terminal and a lot of fraud but after the registration, if anything happens we can provide the details of the persons behind the company to the government. We will capture the picture and other relevant information and this is a good development for the country.”

 

He stressed that “after the deadline, we would go after defaulters, If you have been identified as a criminal, security agents will go after you, we will go after them because some are being chased by the security agencies already.”

 

He elaborated on the benefits of registration, emphasising that it goes beyond taxation to encompass access to loans, legality, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

 

“The law has stated that for any person to carry out business activity in the country, your business must be legitimate and for your business to be legitimate you must register, either you are doing your business as an individual or as an agent, you must register with us.

 

“The POS terminal holders are doing business, and we are now enforcing part of the provision of the Company and Allied Matters Act. We have been on this issue since December and extending it to July means they have six months. We have provided a timeline in the interest of their business.

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