Sunday, October 09, 2011

Cashless Society: The Way Forward for Nigeria

As part of an effort to prepare Lagos for the implementation of the test-run phase of the new proposed Cashless Policy scheduled to kick off in January 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bankers committee are carrying out different sensitization program within Lagos.
On October 7, 2011 a one-day Youth stakeholder’s forum tagged “Operation Cashless Lagos” was held at Lagos Airport Hotel. The event brought together students, youth leaders and young professionals from different parts of Lagos. According to the organizers, one of the objectives of the forum was to engage people face-to-face. It was noted that even though the policy has been announced, it is not set in stone, as feedback from people at the grassroots will be taken into consideration and applied as necessary.
The cashless policy was introduced to discourage the high usage of cash across the economy which has many negative consequences including- High Cost of cash, High risk of cash-related crimes, high subsidy and high usage which limits the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation.
According to CBN, the high usage of cash in the society result in high cost of banking services, which limits access to credit.
The cashless policy is expected to kickoff in Nigeria from June 1st 2012. However a pilot scheme will kick-off in Lagos on January 1st 2012.
CBN and banks are working with all stakeholders to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place for smooth transition. Systems are also being put in place to minimize electronic fraud, and ensure a transparent dispute resolution process.
What are some Nigerians saying about this new policy? Click here to read Nigerians debate itsPros and Cons.
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