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

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Smartcard Expo 2002

1st ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION
ON SMARTCARDS (2001)

The maiden edition of the annual international conference and exhibition on smartcards tagged "Smartcard Expo 2001" was held at the Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos from 5th 6th July 2001. The primary objective was to bring together all key players in the card payment industry, to discuss and deliberate upon key issues that needed urgent attention, and to promote the spirit of partnership thereby harnessing and enhancing the enormous potentials that are available within the socio-economic
environment.

The summit was organised by Intermarc Consulting Limited under the sponsorship of Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Prism Holdings, Sequra-EFT group, All States Trust Bank, Societe Generale Bank Nig. Ltd, Platinum Bank and ICL.

Theme:

The conference noted, that the unfolding scenes in the emerging smartcard industry in Nigeria clearly show, that the players are merely scratching the surface of a potentially large business opportunity that has the capacity to transform the entire economy as well as leapfrog Nigeria into the realm of the technologically developed countries.

Statistics show that 5 years after the first scheme took off, 3 or 4 other schemes have been implemented. However with all this, we still have about 100,000 smartcards in circulation. The challenge was summarised to form the theme of this year's conference & exhibition: "Optimising your E-Card business". This was with a view to finding permanent solution to the problems, while taking advantage of the prospects in the emerging markets. The theme was deliberated and addressed under a 3-track approach.

Track 1: Conference Session

The proceeding at conference was as follows:

  1. Welcome address by Haruna Jalo-Waziri, (SECTRUST)
  2. Keynote address by the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology- Professor Tuner Isoun (represented by Professor G.A Ajayi)
  3. Presentation by Prof.G. A.Ajayi (Director, National IT Development Agency, FMST): National Policy Framework on IT
  4. Presentation by Dr J. P Merino (MD, Valucard Nig. Plc): Global Trends in Smartcard Industry.
  5. Presentation by Mr David Smart (MD, Prism Holdings South Africa): Card payment systems, Business issues for developing economies.
  6. Presentation by Mr Graham Bendell (Director, Smartcard society of South Africa): Smartcards in South Africa; lessons for the rest of Africa.
  7. Presentation by Mr Louis Elozien (MD, STC-Elinex): Security for Smartcards: Issues on Communication infrastructure.
  8. Presentation by Mr George Thorpe (Tequila Nig. Ltd): Smartcards in Nigeria: Projections and facts.
  9. Presentation by Mr Brian Molagrean (MD, Prism TSS, South Africa): Smartcard Transaction Clearing and Settlement.
  10. Presentation by Dr. Kanyinsola Ajayi (SAN). (Principal partner, Olanihun Ajayi & Co): Smartcards operation: Perspectives on banking regulations and control.
  11. Presentation by Mr Demola Aladekomo (MD, Chams Nig. Ltd.): Cards in
    Nigeria: Trends and Prospects for the future.
  12. Presentation by Mr Alex Nwuba (MD, Gemcard Nig. Ltd): Opportunity for M-Commerce & E- Commerce in Nigeria.

Track 2: CEO (Chief Executive Officers) Visionary Summit

The Summit was opened with a brief situation analysis by Dr Evans Woherem (ED, FBN) who was the facilitator of the summit. The objective of the summit was to have CEO's of key organisations make their submissions on the way forward in optimising the potentials of Smartcards in Nigeria. This was in the presence of a participatory audience, who also had the opportunity to ask questions at the summit.

The following CEO's presented their views at the summit.

Dr J.P Merino ( MD, Valucard Nig. Plc )
Mr Demola Aladekomo ( MD, Chams )
Mr Alex Nwuba ( MD, Gemcard Nig. Plc )
Mr Louis Edozien ( MD, STC- Elinex )
Mr Chuks Onyebuchi ( MD, Cardbase Technologies )
Mr W.I Derikoma ( rep. MD Allstates Trust Bank )
Mr David Smart (MD, Prism TSS, South Africa )
Mr Brian Molagrean (MD, Prism TSS, SA )
Mr Graham Bendell (Director, Smartcard Society of South Africa )
Dr Evans Woherem ( ED, FBN ) - facilitator


Track 3: Exhibition

Seven companies participated in the exhibition by displaying modern and up to date software and hardware that are relevant to the development of Smartcards in Nigeria, as well as card payment technologies and other card accessories.

The companies are:

  1. Prism/Sequra-EFT
  2. Chams Nig. Plc
  3. STC-Elinex
  4. Bureaufax Technologies Ltd
  5. Comtel Nig. Ltd
  6. Schlumberger
  7. Insider, Lagos

Resolutions

Based on the theme of the programme ideas harnessed and papers presented during the 2-day conference and the 3hrs 30mins summit, the following are a summary of the deliberations on issues thrown up as ways of optimising the e-card business in Nigeria:

Government should seriously and urgently implement smartcards in area of utilities and bills payment such as National ID, NEPA, Transportation driver's licence, Toll Management, Health care etc

Operators should pursue inter-operability and convergence of all existing schemes. Scheme operators and brand owners should form partnerships with EFPOS terminal manufacturers and their local vendors by finding devices and making them available in key areas of the economy.

Marketing emphasis should be "mass market approach" which ensures that EFPOS terminals are deployed not only to the "up-market merchant segments" i.e. Park 'n' shop, Mega Plaza, but more importantly, to the " lower end" of the market i.e. Alaba, Idumota, Oyingbo, Ereko etc. This is one sure way of stimulating demand and usage for smartcards

Nigeria is not just Lagos and Abuja, therefore banks and scheme operators should ensure that EFPOS and smartcards touch the lives of every Nigerian sooner or later.

Possible off-shore loan syndication by brand owners with the guaranty of CBN for the purpose of finding the required number of terminals for this huge market.

Banks through their scheme operators and NIBSS, should immediately provide a switching infrastructure for a viable on-line, multi-bank, EFPOS transaction processing.

There is need to establish the Nigerian Smartcard Society as an independent body to promote the ideals and usage of smartcards.

The need for banks and operators to look at smartcard business from the perspective of a long-term cost-saving tool rather than a short-term profit-making venture. This calls for the need to charge a minimum service/transaction fee as an introductory offer to attract more users.

The conference ended with participants becoming more informed and equipped to handle the current and potential challenges ahead. "Smartcard Expo 2002" has been slated for the 2nd quarter of next year.


Signed
JITE OLATUNBODE & CO
Company secretary / Legal advisers to Intermarc Consulting Limited.
Dated this 5th day of July 2001

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