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Implementation of cashless policy is in public interest–Emefiele

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By Mustapha Sumaila, Abuja

Mr. Godwin Emefiele the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the implementation of cashless policy in six states of the federation is in public interest to promote an efficient payment system.

CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, cashless policy
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele

Emefiele stated this while fielding questions from journalists after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held in Abuja on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CBN on Tuesday issued a circular to deposit banks to commence the implementation of the cashless policy in six pilot states across the country.

The apex bank directed that implementation should commence from Sept 18 in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and the Rivers States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

It, however, stated that the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy would take effect from March 31, 2020.

The CBN explained that transactions will attract three percent processing fees for withdrawal and two percent processing fees for lodgement of amounts above N500, 000 for individual accounts.

Similarly, corporate accounts will attract five percent processing fees for withdrawal and three percent processing fee for lodgement of amounts above N3 million.

Reacting, Emefiele said the policy was not new as it was inaugurated in the country in 2012 and implementation began in 2014 while several engagements were held across multiple stakeholders before its commencement.

He said withdrawal charges had been in place since then, only deposit charges were new now to some people thought it was part of it from the beginning later withdrawn.

“The policy says if you deposit money in the bank above a particular threshold which for the individual is N500,000 and N3 million for corporate bodies, then you will be charged, same for withdrawal.

“It has been like this but after stakeholders engagement, we agreed that it was too early to begin to charge people who want to deposit money in banks.

“We agreed at that time that they were a lot of cash outside the bank industry and there is no need to penalize the people who want to bring in their money to the banks and then we relaxed the essence of charging on deposit.

“We expected that after five years, that is from 2015 to 2019, all-cash kept in peoples’ houses should have been brought to the banks,” he explained.

He announced that full cashless policy would commence all over the country by March 2020.

He stated that the policy was not designed to de franchise hardworking Nigerians as perceived by some categories of people.

According to him, data conducted revealed that close to 95 percent of cash deposited and withdrawn fall below this threshold.

Emefiele said already, Nigerians had embraced electronic channels and online transaction in market places.

He added that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises now had various options and channels available to them to collect a legitimate payment for good and services, like POS, banks transfer using ATM, USD code among others.

He said that the cashless policy increases transparency in financial dealings and reduce crimes such as ransom payment and extortion among others.

The governor said the bank had the mandate under the CBN Act 2007 as amended to promote a sound and stable financial system through the credible efficient payment system


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