All things being equal, come January 1, 2012, the cashless economy policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria will kick off.
It will, however, be practically operational in banks and businesses from the third day of January, being the first working day after the holiday.
By then, the question of whether the economic initiative would ever take off would have been answered; though there remains a myriad of other questions begging for answers.
The implementation of the policy has generated sundry reactions from individuals and organisations, especially because of the anticipated e-payment challenges.
A cashless economy is one where purchases and transactions are done mainly by electronic means and seldom by cash. The policy, introduced by the CBN in April 2011, states that individual and corporate customers are restricted to a daily cash withdrawal and lodgement of N150,000 and N1m respectively.
By implication, individuals, who make cash withdrawals above the limit will be charged N100 on every N1,000, while a corporate organisation that exceeds the limit will be charged N200 on every N1,000.
Apparently relying on its commercial stamina as Nigeria’s business hub, the CBN will commence the pilot scheme in Lagos State.
But as sophisticated as the residents of the metropolis are perceived to be, the level of awareness about this policy, checks have shown, is still very low.
Subsequently in June, the policy will commence in other major cities in Nigeria such as Aba, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano. According to the CBN and the Bankers Committee, the economy will be the better off with the policy.
For instance, it will reduce the dominance of cash in the system, thereby reducing cases of armed robbery and cash-related crimes.
It will moderate the cost of cash management; encourage the use of electronic payment channels and reduce lending rates to further make credit accessible to big and small businesses.
The committee’s findings showed that running a cashless economy could save the CBN about N192bn, which is the projected direct cost of managing cash for 2012.
While Nigerians could not deny the need to prevent too much cash in circulation among other benefits of the scheme; many still believe that the cash limit is too low and query how the CBN arrived at the benchmark.
Some also express the need for a gradual transition to the new policy order; while others think that Nigeria is not even ripe for it. As laudable as the cashless idea is, an assessment of the usual inconsistencies in the operation of the Automated Teller Machine leaves many stakeholders wondering if the same system could produce a better result.
Realising this potential threat, the CBN recently directed banks and independent service providers to deploy more ATMs and ensure their efficiency to ensure a smooth implementation of the policy.
It stressed that all ATMs (off-site and on-site) shall have a minimum uptime of 95 per cent going forward. The directive prescribed sanctions for failure to comply.
Resolute about seeing the scheme succeed, the CBN had projected the deployment of 40,000 point of sale devices in Lagos and plans to increase the number to 150,000 by the end of next year.
The bank said that it had the assurances of all the bank chief executives on the take-off of the policy, adding that the migration to electronic channel was part of the engine of change in the economy.
Headlines Newsview all
The Nasarawa State correspondent of Daily Trust, Hir Joseph, was attacked by armed thugs in the presence of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, just as the ... Full story
Two members of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) on Friday commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for laying more emphasis on security challenges facing the ... Full story
Rate this article
Nigeria’s outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, would officially assume office as President of Africa Development Bank (AfDB) on September 1, 2015. This was disclosed ... Full story
For Janine Ayorinde Temitope Dada with the stage name of 'Ms Jaie', music is the very means that connects her with her fans and she ...
Popular on-air personality, OAP, Dotun, is gushing about a recent interview that has left him reeling on his feet. The programme host, who has interviewed ...
Popular musician turned controversial writer is at again. Etcetera in his new article writes about what it is expected of the new government that took ...
Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Waje and Yemi Alade recently collaborated with One campaign to launch Strong Girl, a new song and music video aimed at ... Full story
Nollywood producer, Fidelis Duker, is a year older today, May 29 and as he celebrates his day which coincides with handing over date to a ...
For many people in an amorous relationships, having s3x symbolise the consumation of such a union as mutual consenting partners indulge in the act. For ...
After disappearing from main stream music in Nigeria, Lanre Dabiri better known as eLDee, is back with a solution to curb piracy in Nigeria and ...
Mavin Records artiste, D Prince, is the younger brother of the music producer, Don Jazzy, and is credited for the smash hits 'O.Y.O' and 'Take ...
Although the much anticipated May 29 Presidential Inauguration has come and gone, but there some side attractions that also shaped the epoch-making event. Nollywood delectable actress, ...