By Laz Ibeabuchi
Founding DG, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Prof. Anya O. Anya has faulted the choice of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, using Lagos to kick start its cashless policy, saying the State is too big for a pilot survey.
Speaking during the Cash-less Lagos Fair 2012 in Lagos, he expressed fear that the policy might face poor government implementation, a factor which has been a usual syndrome of government policies over the years.
He said, “I am quite frightened that this project is starting in Lagos. Lagos is almost 60 per cent of the Nigerian economy. If Lagos is used as a pilot survey, almost the whole economy is covered, thereby posing further unseen challenges. A smaller state should have been used to test run this policy.
“On the successful implementation of the cashlite Lagos, My worry lies in the level of implementation of government policies. Over the last 50 years, Nigeria has experienced good policies. But this has failed at the level of implementation. Two reasons are responsible for this.
“Firstly, we are often in a haste to implement our policies without going through the rigours of planning them thoroughly. I hope this cashless policy will not suffer same process.
“Secondly, is cultural and technological. Most of our people are illiterates. If any thing technological must take place, there is need to train people to use the applications in a simplified way. Let us do proper planning because the people to gain from this are Nigerians,” he said.
However, Mr Ade Shonubi, MD of NIBSS dispelled this fear, saying that Nigerian banks have spent N6 billion in the last six months preparing for cashless policies. He said Lagos is the best place to kick start the programme since the state is the hub of Nigerian economy, and every thing happens here.
Addressing Artisans and small and medium scales business owners at the fair, Director of banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr Olu Daramewa said the cashless policy does not prevent people from lodging and withdrawing cash as misunderstood in some quarters.
“You are allowed to withdraw a maximum of N500,000 (individuals accounts) or N3 million (company accounts) daily without processing fees. Any withdrawal above these amounts will attract a processing fee, N30 on every thousand for individuals and N50 on every thousand for corporate, above the set threshold by CBN,” he said.
He advised them to use the various available electronic channels for processing their transaction as such is more effective.