Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 22 June 2013 | 3,589 times
Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has pleaded for the state to be given a month’s grace by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has announced that it will effective July 1 extend cashless banking to the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), Anambra and four other states which cumulatively control 90 per cent of commerce and cash deposit in the country. The other states are Abia, Kano, Ogun and Rivers.
Speaking Wednesday at an interactive session in Awka between visiting CBN officials and members of the state executive, Governor Obi admitted that cashless banking would help stabilise the country’s growth but pointed out some bottlenecks in the proposed take-off of the policy in the state from Monday.
He noted that the transformation was too sudden and pleaded with the CBN team to make out time for a second visit to educate traders in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka.
“I think we should embrace cashless policy, but I still want to plead that we in Anambra should join in August because the traders need more education and sensitisation,” the governor said.
Responding, CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo, promised that he would personally lead the team to Onitsha in view of the importance of the new policy. He explained that cashless banking is part of the CBN’s strategy to stabilise the country’s economy through checkmating the risks involved in moving about with cash.
“We want to start this policy in July this year because it is only when we start that we will know the teething problems and hiccups. Apart from reducing the cost of transaction, the cashless policy would reduce the menace of kidnapping in the state and leakages in government revenue,” Lemo said.
He identified other gains of the policy to include checking of corruption, reducing of robbery, election rigging and leakage in government revenue.
“It will also protect consumers and check fraud in the policy and aims at reducing the amount of physical cash circulating in the economy and encourage more electronic-based transactions for payment of goods, services, transfers and puts restriction on the amount of cash to be deposited or withdrawn from customers’ accounts in a given day,” the CBN Deputy Governor stated.
Under the cashless banking policy, withdrawals above N500,000 attract a surcharge of three per cent, while withdrawals above N3 million attract a surcharge of five per cent. The policy was first introduced in Lagos, the country’s economic capital, where it has successfully run since January 1, 2012.
•Photo shows Gov. Obi receiving a document from CBN Deputy Gov. Lemo during the event.
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