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NCC head office, Abuja

NCC, Airtel trace poor penetration of mobile money to weak marketing

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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta and Director, Sponsorship, Events and Public Relations (PR) at Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Oparah has traced the observed poor penetration of Moblie Money platform to poor marketing strategy of the operators in reaching the rural areas.

Discussing the matter at a recent conference put together by the Brand Journalists’ Association of Nigeria (BJAN), in Lagos, Danbatta said the reason for the weak penetration level is at its lowest ebb is lack of information to Nigerians, especially those in the rural areas.

He submitted that “There is a the need for licensed Mobile Money operators to ensure that we get to a stage where we have a Mobile Money kiosk located in every street, especially in the rural areas because they need it more than those in the urban centres”.

Towing NCC’s line of reasoning, Oparah advised that the operators should learn to use the medium that is targeted at people in the rural areas, whom he described as unbanked citizens. “Until you target the masses using the medium they understand, you are making no progress. You cannot communicate to those in the rural areas using newspaper and television, when they can neither read nor have access to them,” he said.

Analysts say considering the geometric rise in the nation’s subscriber base to 152 million in September, it is expected that use of Mobile Money should be in the region of 80 per cent usage, but it was not so.

However, financial pundits have continued to argue that the best model for the platform would have been to allow GSM operators to drive the scheme as it is in Kenya who currently holds the record of Mobile Money penetration.

It would be recalled that on introduction, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), clearly edged out telecoms operators and gave licences to specialized bodies who only rely on the networks to drive the scheme but with poor results after all.


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