By KAYODE TOKEDE, Lagos –
Given the drive to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy on cashless society and leverage on Information Technology, a total of eight deposit money banks have spent N34.2 billion on IT and electronic business infrastructure in nine months ended September 30, 2017.
Investigations by LEADERSHIP revealed that in prior nine months, the same banks spent N25 billion on Information Technology-related infrastructure, software, computers and introduction of mobile apps.
Commercial banks operating in Nigeria have increasingly depended on the deployment of IT infrastructure to drive their processes, grow their business operations in order to deliver superior financial performance to meet and surpass customer expectations.
The banks surveyed are Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Stanbic IBTC, Fidelity Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Sterling bank Plc.
Access Bank top Tier-1 deposit money banks when it comes to IT and electronic business expenses, spending N13.3 billion in nine months ended September 30, 2017, an increase of about 50.4 per cent from N8.87 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2016.
Following Access Bank is Zenith Bank with N8.6 billion on IT expenses from N4.6 billion in prior nine months, while UBA’s IT support and related expenses dropped by 48 per cent to N1.06 billion as against N2.02 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2016.
Zenith Bank, over the years, became synonymous with the use of IT in banking and general innovation in the Nigerian banking industry.
The bank in a statement said, “We have renewed our commitment in ensuring that all our activities are anchored on the e-platform and providing service delivery through the electronic media to all customers irrespective of place, time and distance.
“Zenith group only recently scored another first, becoming the first Nigerian institution to be awarded a triple ISO certification by the British Standards International (BSI): the ISO22301, 27001 and 20000 standards”.
In reducing its branches network, Union Bank of Nigeria’s expenses on IT related gained 33 per cent to N2.97 billion from N2.23 billion, while Stanbic IBTC expenses on IT dropped by 3.7 per cent from N3.7 billion to N3.59 billion in nine months ended September 30, 2017.
Most Tier-2 deposit money banks were spending less on IT, Electronic Business Infrastructures, attributable to smaller networks.
Specifically, Fidelity Bank’s IT expenses dropped by 12 per cent to N2.1 billion from N2.42 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2016.
The MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, in a statement said, the bank is committed to driving its digital banking aspirations in line with the management medium term strategy.
“We have been able to sustain our performance trend this year through the following: disciplined balance sheet management, strategic cost reduction and driving our digital banking aspirations which are all in line with the execution of our medium term strategy”, he said.
Others are Diamond Bank and Sterling Bank that spent N1.12 billion and N1.33 billion on IT and Electronic Business Infrastructures in nine months ended September 30, 2017.