Experts welcome postponement of cash less policy

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Some financial experts have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for suspending the implementation of the cash less policy.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos on Tuesday that the deferment of the policy implementation till Jan. 1, 2013, would enable the CBN to prepare well for its take off.

The spokesman of the apex bank, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, announced the suspension of the policy in a press statement on Monday in Abuja. NAN reports that the CBN initially gave March 31 for the commencement of the cash less policy. Mr Eddie Osarenkhoe,a former President of Finance Houses Association of Nigeria (FHAN), told NAN that the CBN might have realised that there was inadequate public awareness about the policy.

He said that the postponement was part of the efforts to create the appropriate public awareness. Osarenkhoe said that under the new policy, an individual could withdraw up to N500,000 and a corporate entity N1 million daily. “The CBN has the capacity to review any policy so that the objective can be achieved,’’ Osarenkhoe said. He advised government to put in place appropriate infrastructure for the success of the policy. Dr. Kazeem Bello, a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, told NAN in a telephone interview that the decision was in the right direction. He said that the apex bank was beginning to think about the public generally before implementing the policy.

Bello urged the apex bank to ensure that all business transactions passed through the banking system for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of carrying less cash around. He said that the CBN should introduce measures to restore investor confidence in the Nigerian economy and make people to trust the banking sector. Mr Wole Olowu, General Manager of True Bond Micro Finance Bank, described the CBN decision as a positive development. “It will provide more time for the apex bank to carry out more researches on the cash less policy,’’ he said.

Olowu urged the apex bank to provide more Point of Sales (POS) terminals to ease business transactions. He said that literacy level in Nigeria was very low and that the apex bank needed to provide more public enlightenment for people to use the POS machines.

Dr Taiwo Opeyemi, a lecturer in the Department of Economics, Lagos State University (LASU), said that the CBN needed to work harder to ensure that more Nigerians embraced the policy. He said that the apex bank should encourage banks to make their interest rates attractive so that more people could embrace banking. Opeyemi also said that the CBN should make interest rate on savings attractive so that more people would be encouraged to open savings accounts.

The lecturer called for stiffer punishment to persons that issued dud cheques to bring to popularise the use of cheques for payment. CBN has reduced the processing fees on cash withdrawals above the limit for individual customers from 10 per cent to three per cent. The processing fee for withdrawals above the limit for corporate bodies has also been reduced from 20 per cent to five per cent.

 

In : Finance

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