THE cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to discourage the preference for cash in exchange of value by businesses and individuals.
Founder and Director, PayAttitude, Agada Apochi, has said.
In a statement, he said the implementation of the cashless policy will help the CBN in stopping subsidy of the rich by the poor adding that cash transactions are associated with huge costs.
Under the new policy guidelines, bank customers are to pay cash handling charges for daily cash deposit and withdrawal in excess of N500,000 for individuals and N3 million for corporates. This has generated a lot of criticisms among Nigerians.
But Apochi disclosed that less than five per cent of Nigerians have a turnover of N15 million monthly or N500,000 daily while less than five per cent of businesses in Nigeria have turnover of N90 million monthly or N3 million daily.
“Let the few individuals and businesses that generate huge cash daily adopt electronic payments instead of placing the avoidable huge costs of cash on Nigerian government and Nigerians. If the National Assembly were to appropriate money annually for the cost of cash, Nigerians will understand how much it costs taxpayers to subsidize the avoidable costs of huge cash and the need to reduce same. It is not in the interest of the majority of Nigerians to ask over 95 per cent of Nigerians to continue to subsidize the avoidable costs of huge cash that the very few impose on the masses. The poor should not continue to subsidize the rich. It is wrong economically, socially and morally,” Apochi stated.
Apochi, said the charges have been criticised by some people that do not appreciate that the cashless policy and the guidelines are in the best interests of majority of Nigerians.
He explained that huge circulation and adoption of cash is very costly to every economy as including government, businesses and citizens. The costs, he added, include printing of notes and coins, handling and processing, high operating costs for banks who pass the costs to customers, high interest rate, lack of transparency, black market economy, violent and non violent crime, among others.
Apochi said the adoption of electronic payments is a viable and cost effective alternative to cash. “The CBN in September, 2019 further reduced the fee that businesses pay for accepting electronic payments at Points-of-Sale (PoS) by 33.3 per cent from 0.75 per cent to only 0.5 per cent of transaction value with a ceiling or maximum charge of N1,000. This is about the lowest rate in the world.
The CBN continues to take commendable steps to make financial services especially electronic payments available to Nigerians such as Agency Banking, Mobile Money, PoS, Instant Transfer, among others,” he said.
The PayAttitude boss said banks and other payment service providers are working with CBN to make electronic payments available to Nigerians through instant transfer, bills payment, among others using mobile App, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).