Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has explained that the newly introduced cashless policy is aimed at positioning Nigerian as a safe and credible destination for financial transaction across the world.
He added that the new policy has been strategically timed in view of the visit, Monday, September 23, of the members of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) to assess the country’s anti-money laundry and CFT regime.
“GIABA will be in Nigeria to assess the rate at which Nigeria has embraced anti-money laundry and CFT regime.
“It is important that we display and show to them that Nigeria is indeed in conformity with their practices as enshrined in their anti-money laundry and CFA laws.
“If we do not do what we are doing today, if they pass us negative, even your so-called cards that you carry abroad, you will not be able to use them.
“It is in our own best interest that we are seen to be working in line with best global practices so that we can have a comfortable and convenient life in future.”
The CBN Governor, who however, sympathized with Nigerians for the inconvenience caused by the introduction of the policy, said that “currency management cost have continued to increase year-on-year at an average annual growth rate of 33%. Notwithstanding, electronic transactions have increased within the economy. We have provided alternative channels and people have embraced it.
“Today, SMEs have various options and channels available to them for collecting legitimate payment for goods and services like bank transfers, using the POS or mobile cash, USSD codes and QR codes.
“Indeed, it is in the public interest to promote an efficient payment system via the cashless policy which helps to reduce the punitive cost of cash processing often passed on to bank customers by our Deposit Money Banks.
“Fees on excess cash withdrawal are not new. They have been there since 2012. We need to actually embrace best practices by actually saying that we should go cashless in Nigeria.”
Emefiele spoke at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja when he was asked of his reaction to the pushback from Nigerians over the return of charges on deposits and withdrawals beyond certain threshold.