CBN may review cash-less policy, mum on cheque truncation date
June 14, 2012/Guardian
THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), may review the cashless policy to address inadequacies discovered in the course of the implementation of pilot scheme in Lagos.
The apex bank also explained that the exemptions granted government agencies as regards the cashless policy include local governments with respect to only lodgments for accounts operated by them, for the purpose of revenue collections.
Besides, the apex bank noted that it is yet to set a date for the commencement of the cheque truncation exercise, noting that there are moves underway to perfect plans before the implementation, while the cashless policy may be reviewed to accommodate changes in the system.
Speaking at a workshop on e-payment organised by the bank and the Lagos State Office of the Auditor-General for Local Government, in Lagos, yesterday, the CBN’s Director, Department of Banking and Payments System, Dipo Fatokun, explained that contrary to the belief that local governments are exempted from the provisions of the amended cashless policy, provisions have been made for the arm of government as only lodgments for accounts operated by them, for the purpose of revenue collections would not be subjected to charges.
According to him, the pilot scheme of the cashless policy has proven the fact that the policy is do-able.
“The cashless policy is a win-win situation for all and we are trying to ensure that even the public sector is carried along in the process as we look forward to implementation in other states,” he said.
The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Taxation and Revenue, Abimbola Shodipo, noted that as commendable as the cashless policy may be, there is a need for the apex bank to effectively supervise the activities of many banks in order to ensure that they are not fleecing on innocent citizens in form of hidden charges.
“As clumsy as it may appear, the cashless policy is good and would aid Nigeria’s attainability of its vision 20:2020. However, financial institutions should not see the policy as an opportunity to make money and milk customers. In the course of trying to reduce overhead cost, bank customers are often made to bear the cost”, he added.
The workshop has in attendance public sector and local government functionaries across the state such as council chairmen, managers, education secretaries of local government education authorities, secretaries, pension board, local government council treasurers, paymasters, heads of accounts of local government education authorities and local government pension board.
The Permanent Secretary and Auditor-General for Local Governments, Mohammed Hassan, said the workshop was organised to enlighten members of the public sector on the implementation of the cashless exercise.
“The e-payment is new and alien to our economy and there could be some risks associated with the practice. So we don’t want the local government officials to run the risk of huge losses due to lack of knowledge and understanding”, he added.
He further stated that the state office of the Auditor-General for the local government is collaborating with the CBN to sensitize and enlighten the people on the workings of e-payment “we are doing this to enlighten our people to understand the rudiments and workings of cashless policy, e-payment systems and how it could assist us in our duties”.