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Reject New CBN Cashless Policy, Embrace Backwardness & Corruption

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The current crop of the management of Central Bank of Nigeria should be commended for many initiatives they have undertaken to move or leapfrog Nigeria into a modern society.

Instead of condemning the new CBN policy that will ensure that Nigerian citizens transact less with cash, Nigerians should first look at the good sides of the policy.

You don’t have to pay the charges if you and your customers or counter-parties transact through POS, ATM, Mobile Banking or Internet Banking.

It is assumed that anybody who can handle ₦500,000 can also learn to use any of the banks’ money transfer channels to make payments. After all, nobody carries ₦500,000 in a bag or wallet to spend.

The major beneficiaries if this policy is suspended are politicians who need to move cash around during elections and after election for nefarious activities, kidnappers, armed robbers who visit homes of their victims and offices, civil servants that take huge bribes, smugglers and drug peddlers.

If everybody complies, the security agencies, through NFIU and EFCC, can now easily track any huge cash withdrawals from our financial institutions which most probably would be for criminal purposes.

Also, if most monies are in the banks, government’s economic policies on inflation and price stability would be effective. Economists know this to be true.

It will be unfair to assume that the policy is geared towards enriching the banks as CBN envisages that majority of Nigerians would avoid incurring the charges by complying.

Most Nigerians want our country be like a developed nation but wouldn’t support financial practices of developed countries. Nobody moves around with huge cash in Europe or USA except for illicit activities.

If we allow this policy to work, anybody with huge cash at hand is automatically a money laundering suspect.

A smart business person could react to the new policy by doing the following:

1. Nicely get as many as his or her customers as possible to open savings or no-charge paying accounts with same bank he or she banks with. This will make payment confirmations much easier even when the bank network is down.

2. Open accounts with all Nigerian commercial banks in that any buyer of his goods or services can easily do an in-house account to account transfers when inter-bank transfer become difficult.

3. Get more than one POS machine for payments as done by gas stations and churches.

4. Set up a minimum withdrawal or transferable limit per day on all accounts to prevent electronic fraud from hackers or e-rats.

5. You can de-activate electronic transfers at first and instruct your bankers to transfer funds for you upon receipt of your written instructions if you are so scared of e-banking.

6. You can also meet your bank manager to advise you on the best cash handling options for your business.

All well meaning Nigerians should support this CBN initiative and re-model their sales collection and payment systems to deal with minimal cash.

I support this kind of NEXT LEVEL.

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