Nigeria: CBN payment system meets glitches

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The money market segment of the financial system was thrown into confusion as technical hitches in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) payment system – the Real Time Gross Settlement Systems (RTGS) and T24 – stalled up to N300 billion inter-bank transfers.

The bank’s communications division said a problem with the cooling systems of its Real Time Gross Settlement System had temporarily halted the transfers.

The inability of banks to transfer money and securities triggered a spiral effect as some lenders’ accounts with the CBN were thrown into debit. Others could not honor their inter-bank obligations.

CBN’s Director, Corporate Communication, Ugochu-kwu Okoroafor, confirmed, “Yes, we have a problem with the cooling system of the RTGS. Our Crisis Resolution team is just coming out of a meeting now. The RTGS is a very sensitive equipment that has to operate within a certain temperature. We turned it off, repaired it and turned it on but it refused to come on.

“All the banks have been given an update on what to do. We apologize for the inconvenience and we will not penalize any bank for any breach. The IT team has been working to restore it and they will work overnight to ensure that the system is restored as soon as possible.”

The Head Treasury Department of one of the top banks also confirmed the glitch. He said what saved the day was the T24, which some of the banks later accessed to consummate some of their transactions.

The CBN however assured that they are working on resolving the issue, and the system is expected to be up and running by today.

The bank apologized for the inconvenience.