…says it cost a fortune to mint Naira notes
By Festus Ahon
CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said its cashless policy was to cut down the volume of cash in circulation and to place Nigeria on the scoreboard of global best practices, disclosing that the policy has been put to test in five states in Nigeria including FCT.
Noting that it would go nationwide on March 31, 2020, the CBN said the policy posits that for individual accounts, cash transactions above ₦500,000 attract 2% and 3% processing fees for withdrawals and deposits respectively while for corporate accounts, processing fees of 5% and 3% would be charged on cash withdrawals and deposits above ₦3 million.
The Director, Corporate Communication of the CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, who spoke during the bank’s Fair, held in Asaba, held that the policy which took effect from September 18 2019, naming the States to include; Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, and the FCT, with the thrust to charge fees on cash deposits and withdrawals above the stipulated threshold.
Okoroafor encouraged Nigerians to use electronic banking, adding that “It cost us a lot of money to print money. It costs more than 20 Naira to print the 20 Naira note.”
Speaking on the essence of the programme, he observed that CBN loans were fashioned according to the comparative advantage of states in the production of crops including tomatoes, rice, livestock, cassava and oil palm amongst others.
He added that the CBN facilities were not grants but loans given at a single interest rate of 9% and urged applicants to report any bank that demands illegal charges.
The Branch Controller of CBN in Asaba, Mrs Patricia Ugwu said the program was to sensitize the public on the intervention policies of the bank, urging the participants to take advantage of the various packages intended to boost the production sector.
Guest speakers at the event enlightened the participants on the CBN payment systems, consumer protection and currency operations of the apex Bank.
However, some participants at the event including Mrs Patience Okonma and Mr Anthony Eduvie spoke on the difficulties in accessing CBN loans especially for those who were not computer literate and interested applicants who were new in the business.