Expert Faults CBN’s Offshore Software for MfBs

March 28, 2017
Expert Faults CBN’s Offshore Software for MfBs

Expert Faults CBN’s Offshore Software for MfBs

By Dipo Olowookere

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally concluded the selection exercise for a software for a shared platform for the more than 900 microfinance banks (MfBs) in Nigeria.

The selection exercise that has gone on for the past three years will be concluded anytime soon. Funding is said to have been provided by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN) programme.

Investigations showed that the CBN embarked on the exercise in order to streamline the management and regulation of the large number of MfBs in the country.

It was believed that a shared service platform will reduce the cost of business for them and enhance their chances of continued survival.

This is especially true for the very small entities. The larger ones have the resources and have already made significant investments on their own.

The CBN started evaluation with more than 40 entries before finally shortlisting Inlaks Computers, Chams Plc and a consortium of MTN and CWG Plc. The CWG/MTN consortium already had a shared service for microfinance bank running as the MTN XaaS platform which was launched four years ago.

It was gathered that Inlaks Computers had proposed to use a version of its Temenos T24 banking application for the project. This solution is a complete front to back office, customer relations management (CRM) and product lifecycle management software platform that powers the retail, corporate, wholesale, universal and private banking operations.

Banks such as Zenith Bank unsuccessfully tried to implement T24. Findings also showed that Temenos has a similar project in Ghana with the Agricultural and Rural Bank (ARB).

ARB had commenced an exercise to replace the T24 solution in the middle of last year. Inlaks has several customers for T24 in Nigeria including the CBN, KeyStone Bank, Sterling Bank, Lapo Microfinance and a few others.

T24 is regarded as one of the top tier banking applications in the world but is notoriously difficult to customise to fit the peculiarities of the customers.

It was gathered that the CBN has selected Inlaks Computers to use its T24 system to implement the MfB shared platform.

This has surprised many industry insiders, who point out that the new Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim, has made a strong case that Federal Government’s policy required its ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) including the CBN to adhere to the local content policy in ICT.

Mr Ibrahim has threatened to jail anyone that flouts this directive as provided by law. The policy states that MDAs should purchase foreign ICT products only when there are no local alternatives.

But text message sent to the CBN spokesman, Mr Isaac Okorafor on the subject matter was not responded to as at press time.

The Nation

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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