The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the planned Cashless policy.
The House mandated the committee on banking to investigate the policy and report back in 4 weeks.
The decision followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Benjamin Kalu.
Solacebase recalled that CBN had in a circular, dated September 17, through the CBN’s Director of Payments System Management Department, Sam Okojere, instructed deposit money banks to implement the policy starting from September 18.
“Charges on deposits shall apply in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, Rivers states and the FCT, in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals, effective September 18, 2019,” the statement read.
Benjamin Kalu, said the House was against the implementation of the policy as it would cause more hardships for Nigerians.
According to him, “The House is deeply worried that the implementation of cashless policy on withdrawals has negative impacts on micro, mini, small and medium scale enterprises, which are clearly the engine room for growth of the economy and employment generation, thereby throwing many of them out of business and sending more Nigerians into poverty.
“The House is aggrieved that while the impact of the cashless policy on withdrawals is still staring us all in our faces as well as other numerous burdensome charges by Nigeria’s Money Deposit Banks heavily impacting on businesses, the CBN deemed it necessary to impose the implementation of cashless policy on depositors ,without due consultations with all shades of stakeholders who will be impacted by the policy.
The lawmaker said that the policy on cash-based transactions (withdrawals) in banks was aimed at reducing and not eliminating the amount of physical cash (coins and notes) circulating in the economy, and encouraging more electronic-based transactions, including payments for goods and services, and transfers.
He explained that the cashless policy was introduced for a number of reasons, including the need to drive development and modernization of the country’s payment system, in line with Nigeria’s Vision 2020 goal of being amongst the top 20 economies by the year 2020.