Says cashless policy to protect Nigerian economy
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has conducted a stakeholder and public enlightenment campaign on its policies and interventions in Asaba, Delta State, in a bid to ensure financial stability and sustainable economic development in the country.
The fair, which attracted several cooperative groups involved in various bank loans transactions, emphasised the importance of efficient book-keeping practice by cooperative groups and organisations for access to loans under the CBN lending programmes.
The two-day event tagged: ‘CBN Fair: Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development’ was organised by the Corporate Communications department of the apex bank.
It also harped on the need for Nigerians of all works of life to embrace the increased use of the electronic banking system in line with CBN cashless policy, and which has become the standard practice in developed economies and developing countries globally.
Director of Corporate Communications department of CBN, Isaac Okorafor, noted that the cashless policy and charges of the apex bank was set for a full blast implementation from March 31, 2020, stressing that it was time Nigerians fully embraced the electronic payment systems, which has become a standard practice globally.
He said the cashless policy would on that date kick off in Delta and 29 other states, as the policy has already come into force in six states-Lagos, Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Rivers and Kano as well as Federal Capital Territory(FCT).
Okorafor, who passionately appeal to Nigerians to avoid the legal hammer of the CBN Act for abuse of the naira notes, stressed that cashless charges were not meant to enrich the banks but to discourage people from “excessive use of cash, which hurts the Nigerian economy and costs the CBN a lot of money to print the bank notes.”
Dispelling doubts about bank account security under the cashless initiative, the corporate communications director said: “Nobody can break into your account in the bank unless he has any of the vital security identities that you have. Your PIN is very important. If you expose it, criminals will use it. When you misplace your ATM card, when they have your PIN cloned, they can use it to steal your money. So people should learn to keep their PIN and ATM cards secret.
“In the security of your money, there are two people who are responsible. One is the bank that will make sure their system is secure. The other person is you. You should make sure your identities are secure in various ways. If your phone lost and you have vital information in it, go to your bank immediately or make a phone call to block your account temporarily until everything is clear.”
Okorafor also underscored the importance of effective book-keeping by applicant cooperative societies and organisations wishing to access the CBN-backed loans.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Asaba branch Controller of the CBN, Mrs. Patricia Ukwu, noted that the two-day exercise was meant to further ensure that stakeholders and the public in Delta State have a clear understanding of the various policies and interventions churned out by the CBN in a bid to attain the objectives of its cashless policy as well as other financial stability and sustainable economic development initiatives.
Ukwu said the fair would “address questions agitating the minds of certain members of the public on the cashless policy and charges on excess withdrawal” as well as “enlighten consumers of financial services on their rights and responsibilities.”
Moreover, the exercise is aimed at providing in the simplest form “a proper understanding of the various CBN interventions/loans and how to key in,” she explained.
The highpoint of the event, which saw several stands established by local farmers and food processors at the venue of the fair, was the question and answer session during which the participants interrogated all aspects of the financial and development policies, including available channels for loans under the CBN Farmers Anchor Borrower Programme and the different features of the cashless policy.