By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Officials of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, appear uncomfortable with the planned implementation of the Cashless policy by the Godwin Emefiele led Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, next year.
Worried by the implication of the policy to the survival of the Micro, Small and Medium scale,MSMEs, Industries, regarded as the engine room for growth of any economy and employment generation, MAN , has asked the apex Bank to think of ways to promote the growth of the MSMEs instead of killing them. It was said to have urged the apex Bank to think of other options to achieve its cashless policy rather the stock approach.
The problem between MAN and CBN , was said to have started last year when the later directed the Commercial Banks operating n the country to charge on cash deposits , in addition to already existing charges on withdraws. Note that the Bankers Bank had introduced 3% processing fees for individual accounts , withdrawals in excess of N5,00,000.00, and 5% for Corporate accounts withdrawal in excess of N3million.
Recall that Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director General, MAN ,has never hidden his opposition to the outrageous charges meant to discourage withdrawals of large amount of money from the Banks , insisting that option options should be adopted other than the cashless policy.
Ajai-Kair anger was that the CBN , did not consult widely or presented the policy to industry stakeholders for proper analysis before taking a decision on its implementation in 2020. He insists that there must be adequate sensitization and explanation for the rationale for the policy because of the inevitable hardship it would impose on their businesses .
Given an insider information why the policy was introduced the Bank had said that it was to drive the development and modernization of the country payment system in with the vision 020 goal economies by 200. Recall that the apex Bank governor had said that an efficient and modern payment system is positively correlated to development , noting that it is a key a key enabler to for economic growth.
Moreso, the Bank had said that ‘’the policy aims to curb some of the negative consequences associated with high usage of physical cash in the economy . This is in addition to reducing the cost of of Banking services including cost of credit as well as well as providing more transactions option at greater reach.
An aggrieved MAN Director General, lamented that in initiating the cashless policy, the CBN , Leadership did not take into cognizance of the existing and long standing charges on withdrawals. He insists that there two options open to the CBN, to achieve the cashless economy instead of increasing the hardship of investors. According to him, rather than introduce gains for those who embrace the policy and punishment for those who did not, including those operating in genuinely large cash- driven economic activities, the CBN, should think of other possible options from the many roads to the market.
Appealing to Emefiele and his Management Team to adopt the carrot approach in dealing with situation, he disclosed that it is the only way to implement the cashless policy without failure. The MAN helmsman is not yet sure that that e policy would survive because a lot of work are still needed to done by the apex Bank to further sensitise the people on the need to embrace it in their daily transactions.
The CBN cashless policy becomes very imperative because of a recent happening Government House, Yenogoa. Bayelsa state where thieves were said to have broken into the office Mrs. Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, the Chief of Staff, of Seriake Dickson, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governor of the state and carted away N3.5 million from the Safe , which was said to have been destroyed by the hoodlums.
bUSINess analysts believe that if Mrs. Ndiomu -Brown , had kept the Bank and conduct all the government House transactions through money transfer, the Criminal elements could not have had the courage of breaking into her office as they knew they would see any cash.
Security watchers believe that the thieves may have been those who were conversant with the operations of the Government House and who knows that the woman always keep cash in the office for running of the Government daily transactions that could done that notwithstanding the tight security in the office environment.
This is why all Nigerians, including MAN , must embrace the CBN, cashless policy to avoid such occurrence in the future in a Government House or any business premise.
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