2ND - 4TH JULY 2002  (Organised By Intermarc Consulting)
 AGIP RECITAL HALL, MUSON CENTRE, ONIKAN, LAGOS

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DAY 1: Industrial Collaboration: Way Forward for Smart Card Technological Breakthrough in Nigeria.  (Posted 2nd July, 2002)

The Second edition of the annual Smart Card International Conference and Exhibition Expo kicked off today at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos in a grand style. The conference with the theme “Making Electronic payment work – Upgrading your E-Strategy” lived up to its expectation as most of the invited guest and speakers were on hand to give the annual event a good beginning. No doubt, this year expo promises to be a success.

Participants at the Schlumberger Stand.Dr. Evans Woheren (Chairman of Smart Card Society of Nigeria) in his welcome address stressed that the concept of smart card and other related technologies is fast gaining grounds in other parts of the world, thus Nigeria can not be left out in the global trends that have defined the way things are done in more advanced countries. The way forward is for all the stakeholders in smart card business to pull their energies and technologies together to ensure that the venture succeeds in this environment. He said this conference offers the opportunity for groups and individuals to come together, to develop ideas and fashion out a direction for smart card industry in Nigeria.

Lectures for the morning segment was flagged off by Mr Graham Bendell of the Smart Card Society of South Africa. He delivered a paper titled Smart Card in Southern Africa: Lesson for the rest of Africa. Here he made mention that Africa has a unique situation that can be solved with a unique solution. Africa do not have to make the mistakes the developed nation made but they can LEAPFROG and join the group of developed nation who has embraced smart card and other means of payment in their system.

He highlighted the gains and prospect of collective collaboration among the stake holders in smart card technologies among which are reduced administrative cost, inexpensive infrastructure, secure proof, reduced fraud, security etc. Dorothy Higginson of Smart card club of U.K and Neline Swanepoel of ABSA South Africa delivered papers on Global trends in Smartcards: Lessons for Africa and Developing appropriate ATM strategy: Lesson for Africa respectively. It was a dialogue conference, as participant were allowed to ask questions and the speakers responded  appropriately.

The afternoon section started at about 2.45pm with the paper titled: A vision for E-payment industry by year 2007 by Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman (M.D Accenture) He also reiterated that “Emerging economies have the option of embarking on ‘solo’ initiative and evolving through each distinct phase, or forging Industrial Collaboration and leapfrogging to more advanced stages of development” He believed that if the gains of the present is properly harnessed it will not take long before Africa will join in the league of countries with a society of card based system of settlement.

The final presentation for the day by Mr. Niyi Ajao (Deputy M.D of Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System, NIBSS) was unarguably one of the most captivating paper delivered. He talked on Impact of secure electronic transactions in Nigeria, using The Nigeria Automated Clearing System (NACS) as a case study. NACS as the potential of reducing the amount of cash outside the banking sector (about 90.46% of total money in circulation) and restoring confidence in the use of cheques as the number of clearing days will be reduced from the present 1-9 days to just about 2 days and even less for transactions above certain millions of Naira.

As for the exhibition at the venue today, activities is just picking up as most of the exhibitors are either just erecting their stands or putting finishing touches to what they have already erected. Though, almost all the exhibitors' stands have been completed, the occupants are yet to occupy them. However, a few exhibitors have started attending to visitors.

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