PoS Operators to Sue CAC Over Registration Directive

The National President of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) announced plans to take legal action against the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) over the mandatory registration directive for its members.

President Fasasi Sarafadeen criticized the CAC’s directive requiring PoS operators to register, arguing that it contradicts the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 2004. He asserted that the Act specifies the CAC has no jurisdiction over individuals not operating as companies.

Sarafadeen referenced section 863(1) of CAMA, stating, “The order to enforce CAC’s directive on individual PoS agents operating under their names is wrong and will be challenged. The Act clearly states that the CAC cannot regulate individuals who are not operating as a company.”

He emphasized the need for judicial intervention to clarify whether individuals operating as sub-agents must register with the CAC. Sarafadeen also clarified that there are two categories of PoS agents: individuals and non-individuals. Individual agents operate under their names, such as Musa Caroline or Abubakar Audu, while non-individual agents operate under business names like Wale Ventures or Johnson Enterprises. The latter group is required by law to register their business names.

The AMMBAN president stressed that sub-agents are akin to branches of already registered companies, similar to how bank branches operate. He criticized the CAC’s lack of understanding of the fintech and agent banking sectors, stating that the crackdown on sub-agents is misguided.

Sarafadeen urged the CAC to focus on reducing the high failure rate of registered businesses in Nigeria instead of targeting individual PoS agents. He highlighted that out of over 4.9 million registered businesses, 50% fail within five years, which contributes to rising unemployment.

He appealed to President Bola Tinubu, the Senate, and the House of Representatives to intervene, arguing that the crackdown on agent banking contradicts the President’s job creation agenda. Sarafadeen noted that agent banking has created over 1.9 million jobs and that targeting sub-agents would harm financial inclusion efforts in Nigeria.

The CAC had issued a two-month deadline for PoS companies to register their agents and merchants in compliance with legal requirements and the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This directive aims to curb fraud and enhance regulatory oversight. According to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, there are over 1.9 million PoS terminals deployed nationwide.

Recent actions by the CBN and other regulatory bodies, including halting new customer onboarding by major fintech firms and freezing bank accounts linked to illegal forex transactions, reflect heightened scrutiny over financial activities involving PoS terminals.