Lagos - A financial expert, Mr Samuel Nzekwe, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address existing challenges before introducing the cashless policy to other states of the federation.
Nzekwe, a former President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos that a number of matters had to be addressed first.
He said the infrastructure in place for the policy had not improved, and that this was highly necessary.
"The CBN needs to carry out its research effectively to prevent a policy somersault,’’ Nzekwe said.
NAN recalls that the CBN, in a statement it issued on Feb. 26 in Abuja, had stated that the policy would commence on July 1 in five states and the FCT after the Lagos pilot scheme.
The five states are Ogun, Kano, Anambra, Rivers and Abia.
NAN also recalls that CBN had on April 1, 2012 inaugurated the cashless policy in Lagos.
The financial expert also said many Nigerians had not seen the effect of cashless policy even in Lagos because people were still carrying a lot of money around.
He said it should all start with the use of bank cheques for transactions ``because that is the beginning of the cashless policy’’.
The former ANAN president lamented that many people were not honouring
cheques and were insisting that customers must bring cash before paying for goods and services.
"There should be a deliberate effort by the CBN to enforce the used of cheques and if any one violates it the person should be punished according to the law,’’ he said.
Nzekwe said the poor state of power generation which made internet connectivity difficult discourages the e-payment system in banks.
According to him, sustainable electricity supply is critical to the actualisation of the goals of the policy.
"Lack of adequate power supply is an impediment to the success of the policy in Lagos and other parts of the country,’’ he said.
Nzekwe pointed out that some traders who do not have the Point of Sales (PoS) machines, as well as some of those who have it, do not understand how to use it.
He said the PoS machines were not even available in many areas of Lagos where the pilot scheme was introduced.
The former ANAN president advised the CBN to intensify its efforts at creating awareness.
"This is by embarking on sensitisation campaigns to address the security and technical challenges associated with the e-payment,’’ he said.