The National Deputy Public Relations Officer for the Mobile Money (MoMo) Agents Association of Ghana, Joshua Edmundson, has intimated that security is the biggest challenge mobile money agents are facing in the country.
Speaking in an interview, he said the rate at which mobile money vendors are being attacked by robbers is becoming very difficult and alarming to operate.
“They are being shot down, killed and all these are things putting fears into the spines of we agents.”Joshua Edmundson
He stated that the agents contribute to the growth of the economy and the high insecurity rate will result in people not wanting to invest in the business.
“People are making much more money than agents. I mean how much money do we make? Just that we are trying to make a living. So, if care is not taken and we don’t get the support we need and security apparatus, no reasonable person will like to invest in such business.”Joshua Edmundson
He noted that tackling the security risk associated with the mobile money operations will require collaborated efforts from various stakeholders. He then called on the various security agencies, telecommunication agencies, customers and other stakeholders to help provide security for these agents.
Mr. Edmundson also warned the mobile money operators to avoid having huge amount of money on them. He suggested that the amount needed to run business in the day should be the only amount they keep in their various shops.
He also advised the agents to close early and be more security conscious to help solve the problem.
Train MoMo agents to defend themselves
Also speaking on the issue, Professor Kwesi Aning, lecturer at the Kofi Anan International Peacekeeping Centre; suggested that the mobile money vendors should be trained to defend themselves from these robbers. He said as the economy continues to grow, the robbery and attacks will also increase alongside.
“What is the level of preparedness and training by the association to its staff. Talk to the police to provide some training for those who run these shops. Also
“Recognize that this is the growing menace in the industry and it will grow exponentially in the coming years;as we get wealthier and people continue to make more transfers. It is logical to conclude that these attacks will continue.”Prof Kwesi Aning
Professor Aning further said the attacks keep increasing due to low arrest and prosecution in the country. He then urged for some structures to be put in place to protect these agents.
Telco staff involved in MoMo robberies
The Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman has revealed that some staff of Telcos in the country are involved in the rampant robberies of Mobile Money agents across the country.
According to her, investigations conducted into Mobile Money robberies have led to some staff of telcos and people close to these mobile money agents.
“There have been cases where we have traced suspects to the staff of Telcos and people who live around them.”Supt Abayie-Buckman
Several mobile money agents have been the target of armed robbers in recent weeks across the country. Last week, heavily armed men attacked an agent in Bantama in Kumasi and made away with over Ghc200, 000.
On the back of this, Superintendent Buckman encouraged MOMO agents not to set up their business at secluded locations. Also
“It’s not just about night alone. Depending on where you are, you may be attacked day or night. So we should look at the premises in general. Operating late at night is one thing we must guard against. More importantly, operating in an area where you could be attacked.”Supt Abayie-Buckman
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