By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – DESPITE the criticism trailing the non-availability of new naira notes, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki yesterday insisted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) monetary policies a cashless economy remain the right decision for the nation’s economy.
He however called for more enlightenment and patience on the path of Nigerians and urged the CBN to ensure the availability of naira notes for the citizens.
Speaking to journalists shortly after a meeting with senior officials and that of CBN in Government House Benin, Obaseki appealed to the people to take advantage of ATMs, POS, bank wallets and other provisions for cashless transactions.
He said, “Haven discussed extensively with the CBN and the bankers that the policy of moving the Nigeria economy to one of a cashless system should be encouraged, it is the best thing for our banking system so the Edo state government has no problem with the policy of the federal government to move our economy to a cashless one.
“However, we want to ensure we do this as painlessly as possible; we have to improve on the communication with our people to reduce their fear. When people go to banks to collect cash because they want to spend it on something, we want to help to inform them that they don’t need to collect cash to spend cash.
“We actually have other means to spend cash without going to the bank to collect cash. From Phones, payment can be made to whomever. For those who don’t have sophisticated phones, with USSID codes you can pay for things as small as N500 without spending cash. So when you go to POS terminals, don’t ask for cash, let them do for you what you want to use the cash for via transfer”.
Director, Risk Management of Central Bank, Blaise Ijebor said they were in Edo to ensure there supply of naira to everyone in Edo state.
He said “We are also here to encourage people to use alternative means to make their payment. If you are able to use your card, app or USSID to pay, you can even go to an ATM that doesn’t have cash to do your transfer from them.
“We are aware a number of ATMs are not paying. We are going to make sure that there is supply in a day or two, we have supply available through your bank branches to give some cash to use.
He also added that there are monitoring teams going round working with EFCC and ICPC to check any illegal act or collusion with banks.
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