NECA cautions CBN on implementation of cashless policy

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) says the country’s economic environment is not ripe for full implementation of cashless policy, as recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The association’s Director-General, Timothy Olawale, who made this known on Thursday in Lagos, said that the full implementation of the policy would impact negatively on several sub-sectors of the economy.

Although Olawale said that the initiative was laudable, he however, noted that the current business environment and the available infrastructure were not ready for such a development.

“Several sub-sectors of the economy, including the fast-moving consumer goods and retailing, downstream oil and gas, and transportation, among others, will be negatively impacted by the policy, as they are still predominantly cash-dominated.

“Corporate account holders are still battling with the N50 stamp duty charge on every transaction above N1,000, commission on turnover of 0.1 percent, with the about-to-come-on-stream 7.2 percent Value Added Tax.

“Also, with the additional five percent as processing fee for withdrawals and three percent as processing fee for lodgements of any amount above N3 million, it is needless to say that the policy is an overkill, exploitative and will impact negatively on the citizens,” he said.

The director-general said that the country’s 2019 Doing Business Report rated Nigeria 146th out of 190 economies.

Olawale said: “this and other uncoordinated and unplanned policies will further bring hardship on the people and lead to further contraction of the economy.”

He called for the exemption of the aforementioned sub-sectors, if CBN must still go ahead with the cashless policy.

He also urged the CBN to ensure that all deposit money banks improved their facilities as against inefficiency in our payment platforms to reduce incidences of fraud.

Olawale reiterated the need for wide consultations and stakeholders’ engagement on a continuous basis before the implementation of policies.

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