The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has presented its cashless policy to the Government and people of Niger State, urging them to reduce the use of cash in financial transactions.
In a power-point presentation at the Government House, Minna, the Deputy Director, Head of Shared Services, Governor’s Department of the Apex Bank, Mr. Chidi D. Umeano made frantic effort to convince members of the State Executive Council on the need and benefits to go cashless.
He lamented that government was spending a lot of money in managing cash in the country announcing that cash circulation had hit over 41 per cent compared to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a situation he said, was clearly unacceptable.
Mr. Chidi D. Umeano stated that if the country migrates from the massive use of cash, it would eliminate all sources of leakages and corruption, increase internally generated revenue, provide easy administration, monitoring and coordination of all revenue activities, and assist in identifying fraudulent diversion of funds among others.
According to him, the objective of the cashless policy was to meet the vision 20:2020, modernize Nigeria’s payment system, reduce the cost of banking, drive financial inclusion, improve the effectiveness of the monetary policy, reduce high security, safety risks and subsidy and foster transparency, curb corruption and leakages.
The Apex bank’s Deputy Director noted that the purpose of the new policy was to reduce, not to eliminate the amount of physical cash circulation in the economy and encourage more electronic transactions among the people.
Furthermore, he enumerated some of the challenges thwarting the full implementation of the cashless policy in Nigeria to include; lack of understanding of the cashless society, resistance due to prevailing cash culture, Techno-phobia, entrenched poverty, illiteracy, infrastructure lag- power and connectivity, scepticism in the banking sector, lack of POS at priority locations and independent online-real time monitoring.
In his remarks, the State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said the cashless policy would propel the nation’s economy to the next level and urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to address some of the loopholes already identified in the pilot scheme that had taken effect in some states before full implementation in the country.