Abuja – CBN governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said in Abuja on Tuesday that the bank would test-run its cash transaction limit policy in Lagos in the next six months.
The policy, which pegs cash transactions at an initial N150,000 takes effect from June 2012.
“What we are going to do for the next six months, we have what we call a project `Cashless Lagos’, we’ll bring Lagos up as a model; you’ll see the ATM density; we are going to work with telecoms companies and you find that you go to Lagos and do your business with cards.
“The people complaining about the N150,000 go to England, and go to America, they use cards; they use the internet; they use telephone banking. When they come to Nigeria, they want to carry millions of Naira in `Ghana-must-go’ bags.’’
Sanusi stressed that measures must be put in place to fight money laundering and corruption to transform the economy.
He said that the bank would continue to sensitise the people about the policy and be flexible about the limit.
“It can be N150,000 or N300,000. We can talk about the charges, these are not things that are cast in stone, but the important thing is the principle. There will be cash limits and we are going to move transaction away from cash to electronic banking,’’ he said.
He assured that there would be regular public discussions and that appropriate measures would be taken before the implementation time.
Sanusi said that the policy was one aspect of the programme of mordernising the financial system in the country, adding that the only way to move the nation from cashless economy was to invest in it and make regulation to support it.
He said: “this policy will take effect from June 2012; we did not say there is a limit to N150 000, we simply said that if you want to cash more than that, it is just more expensive.
“We have looked at the data, throughout last year, less than eight per cent of cash transaction in Nigeria was more than N150, 000.’’
The governor said that it cost the bank about N200 billion to print money, secure, transport, destroy and process it.
He noted that the top seven banks in the country spent about N100 billion on cash management annually.
“This is a major drain to the economy,’’ he stressed. (NAN