Time is right for full implementation of cashless policy, CBN deputy governor claims
Aishat Ahmad, Central Bank’s deputy governor on Financial System Stability, has told the Senate that Nigeria was ready for full roll out of cashless policy, based on data available to the apex bank.
“Based on information available to CBN, the time for full implementation of the policy with proposed limit on cash withdrawals per week is now,” Ms Ahmad gave at her screening before a senate committee on Friday.
Ms Ahmad and her counterpart on Corporate Services, Edward Lametek Adamu were being screened for re-appointments as deputy governors.
She claimed that the “Required infrastructure for its implementation in terms of financial access point system, mobile money, e-naira etc are available across the 774 local government councils in the country.
“All fears and worries being expressed by Nigerians on the planned limited cash withdrawal policy are seriously being taken care of as nobody or section of Nigerians will be left out”
There has been a rash of concerns and criticisms since the Central Bank announced a plan to limit over-the-counter cash withdrawal to N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for corporate bodies per week beginning from January 9, 2023 in line with cashless policy introduced in 2012.
The policy, Ms Ahmad explained, was introduced in 2012 during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and extended to Abuja and six other states in 2013.
She said cashless policy, as fully implemented by CBN now, was not new as required steps were taken in 2012 with Lagos State as pilot scheme while Abuja and six other states joined in 2013.
She explained that though full implementation of the policy had not been carried out by CBN since then, the introduction then, brought a lot of transformation in the banking and payment system.
“In the past, banking transactions in Nigeria were limited to bank branches alone as the only means which had now expanded into multiple electronic platforms as well as a geometrical increase in the number of agents from 88,000 to 1.4 million,” she said.
She, however, said that the CBN was flexible and would be ready to accommodate opinions that won’t make the policy challenging to any category of Nigerians during implementation.
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