By NAOMI UZOR
Abuja—The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, declared that the impact of the newly introduced cashless policy on the flow of business transactions, using Lagos state as a pilot test has come to stay as the POS machines in the system have increased from 5,000 to over 200,000 to date.
CBN’s Deputy Governor Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo, made the declaration in Lagos during Cash-less Policy Conference organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.
The Deputy Governor explained that the apex bank has put in place necessary machineries to ensure that issuance of ATM cards should be done within couple of hours, unlike now that it takes several days to get the cards.
Represented by Mr. Aaron Yaduma, CBN’s Share services Officer, he said: “Responses on impact of the newly introduced cashless policy on the flow of business transactions with Lagos state as our pilot test for the take-off is yielding positive results as the OPS machines in use for the take-off programmes have increased from 5,000 to over 200,000 to date”
According to Lemo, the survey recommendations made by the LCCI on the impact of CBN cash-less policy on the flow of business transactions in Lagos would be used by the apex bank to review the impact of the policy, and would be used to review the weakness and also make further inputs on how the policy would work effectively in Nigeria.
He however called on Nigerians to support the policy to work as the apex bank will continue to introduce further policies that would make Nigeria the economic hub of Africa.
The LCCI’s President, Mr. Goodie Ibru in his opening remarks challenge the CBN to push for more stringent laws and enforcement against financial crimes as well as intensify awareness campaign for the actualization of the new cashless policy to work in Nigeria
Ibru while reviewing the recommendations made from the post field survey of the cashless policy from Lagos also called on the apex bank to ensure that Government initiate policy that would reduce the import duty and other charges for importing machines as incentives to speed up the spread of the POS facilities in Nigeria
“We challenged the CBN to push for more stringent laws and enforcement against financial crimes as well as intensify awareness campaign with emphasis on the usage benefits of the facility so as to encourage increased usage for the actualization of the new cashless policy to work in Nigeria. We also call on CBN to encourage banks to introduce opening of accounts with zero balances for customers to encourage the non-banked population to have/use ATM cards which will be used to further the implementation of the cash-less policy”, he said
According to Ibru, the CBN should put in place for banks technicians to be trained on how to manage/repair the ATM machines that should be stations at different locations for easy accessibility.
“The phone numbers of these technicians should be given to the outlets where the machines are installed. Workshop/seminars should be organized by the CBN for trade/business associations to give them better orientation about the policy” he stated
It would be recall that the CBN has stopped local banks from charging N100 ATM fees for withdrawals made by customers at ATM’s operated by banks where their accounts are not domiciled.
The apex bank issued the directive Tuesday at the end of a meeting in Abuja between the apex bank and the Bankers Committee, which included some bank CEOs.