By EBUN SESSOU
Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a resolution calling for the extension of the cashless policy to other parts of the country by January 1st 2013.
The resolution was passed by the House at plenary on Monday sequel to a motion moved by Hon. Gbolahan Yisahau (Eti-Osa 11) on the need to strengthen and stabilize the economy.
The House said “The cashless policy should be deployed across the entire nation by 1st of January 2013 and all other teething problems observed in the operation of the policy should be taken care of immediately”.
The House also called on operators in the telecommunications to provide adequate and functional infrastructure to support the cashless policy on their networks.
The House said it took the resolutions based on its observation that the cashless policy was aimed at providing more efficient banking services and improving the effectiveness of the monetary policy in managing inflation and economic growth.
Mr. Segun Olulade representing Epe Constituency II wondered the effectiveness of the policy in his Epe Constituency where there has never been constant electricity supply. In her part, Mrs. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho also corroborated this and regretted that the policy though, had good intention of discouraging culture of carrying huge sum of money around, yet the decay in the national infrastructure which is evident in our erratic power supply is a big problem that needs urgent attention.
They also on the called on the National Assembly through its Committee on Banking and Currency to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to adopt immediate measures that would strengthen monetary policy and adjust interest rate in the country.
The lawmakers said it is imperative to adjust the interest rate in a manner that will improve and stabilize banks’ financial resources to enhance credit portfolio to small and medium scale enterprises in order to assist in correcting the imbalance in balanced of trade and payment. The House also called on the apex bank to reduce interest rate on treasury bills to discourage banks from lending the money to government.
It also expressed worry that if the high interest rate is not reverted there will be continuous discouragement amongst Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) thereby increasing unemployment rate in the country.