The Federal Government has issued a stern warning to Point of Sale (PoS) agents involved in price fixing, declaring that they will be subjected to a hefty fine of up to N10 million or face a three-month prison term.
The announcement was made by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission, Babatunde Irukera, in a statement released on Monday.
This development comes in response to the recent increase in service charges for withdrawals and deposits by PoS agents, who operate under the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents (AMMBAN).
In light of these actions, the FCCPC took swift action and served an Order & Notice (ONC) to the executives of AMMBAN, forbidding PoS agents from continuing to implement the price hike.
The Commission emphasized that failing to adhere to its ONC would result in severe consequences. Individual PoS agents found in violation of the Order will be liable for a fine of one million Naira, while corporate agents will face a more substantial penalty of N10 million or a three-month prison sentence.
“The FCCPA provides the Commission with statutory tools to ensure compliance and penalise law violations. As previously noted, some of these penalties are stiff.
“The Commission advises PoS operators that violation of an order of the Commission attracts additional consequences apart from the underlying illegal conduct that is the subject of the order such as up to N10,000,000 for corporate entities; and N1,000,000 and or a prison sentence of up to three months for individuals”, the statement contained.
In another news, the Central Bank of Nigeria has responded to the increase in service charges by Point of Sale (PoS) agents.
According to The Guardian, the CBN stated that it is currently in discussions with the POS operators and is actively working to find a resolution to the matter.
The CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Dr. Isah AbdulMumin, who spoke via telephone, said: “Yes, the apex bank is aware of the move by PoS agents to increase transaction charges. We at the CBN understand their plight. We know their challenges but we are engaging with them to find a common ground.”