Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents of Nigeria (AMMBAN) has frowned at intimidation, disruptions and molestation of its members across the country by local government councils/LCDAs officials and their contractors on the basis of collection of levies and daily tolls.
This extortion according to AMMBAN is coming in the wake of a Pandemic which has brought the World economy to its knees with no exception to its members and their activities. “We have also observed with disdain, an attempt by these ‘meritless contractors’ to categorize our activities with lotto business.
In a statement made available to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek and signed by Oluwasegun Elegbede, national public relation officer of AMMBAN, the association described actions of the local governments and their contractor as a display of high level of ignorance as Mobile Money and Bank agents are not involved in any ‘game of luck’ but a National and somewhat ‘thankless’ assignment of ensuring financial services are extended to the majority of the excluded population in Nigeria.
“In the bid to provide financial services to the last mile, agents bear a plethora of overhead expenses, part of which are Stamp duty charges and VAT.
“This is in addition to legally recognized local government trade permit and State’s Personal Income Tax.
“Any levy or toll outside these is devilish and anti-people. A case in view is the one playing out in Agbado/Oke Odo, a LCDA in Lagos State, championed by Messrs Trilling Volant Services. AMMBAN is using this medium to inform all stakeholders that we object to the contractor’s move and have nothing whatsoever to do with them.
AMMBAN noted that it will never involve itself in deals that will subject its teeming members to more hardship in the course of deepening financial inclusion.
“It is our belief that if no succour is provided to us in these times when we could do with all the push we could get, we shouldn’t be made to bear more than we have on our plates.
We are also calling on CBN, SANEF, EFINA and other relevant agencies who have toiled and sweated to reach this milestone in our financial inclusion drive to rise up and intervene so that our labour and collective efforts will not be in vain as this developments threatens the existence of last mile drivers of financial inclusion.
“We appeal to our members Nationwide to remain calm and not be intimidated while we strive to overcome yet another battle in this selfless quest of financially including 80% of our population within the set time frame. We shall not relent until victory is achieved,” the statement added.