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Reps invite CBN over cashless policy

30 August 2012, 07:28

Abuja - The House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency says it will invite the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ascertain that the apex bank is still pursuing the cashless policy.

The committee Chairman, Rep. Jones Onyereri (PDP-Imo), said this at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

"The House Committee will invite the Management of the Central Bank in an effort to know whether the Central Bank is still pursuing the cashless policy.

"And if they are, how this higher currency note will complement the cashless policy or if it contradicts the Cashless Policy, what the next line of action is.

"We believe that the Nigerian people deserve to know whether there is a short, mid or long-term strategy that will bring any benefits to the system as a result of this introduction.

"The intervention of the House is to ensure that due process is followed and the rule of law adhered to.

"We assure you that we will also be mindful of the effect of this, or any other banking polic, on the ordinary Nigerian.’’

Onyereri said factors such as cost of implementing the policy to government, the inflationary and devaluation implication and cashless policy derivatives, among others, would be "key to our consideration".

He said that the House was mindful of the fact that the CBN had not communicated its plan to introduce the N5,000 note to its committee.

"Whereas we fully respect the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, the Central Bank’s Autonomy as provided by the Central Bank Act 2007 as amended and the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act.

"We have a responsibility to the Nigerian people to engage the Executive branch on issues that may have a far reaching effect on the national economy, and affect the day to day lives of the ordinary Nigerian."

He said that the House, as representatives of the people, with oversight responsibility covering the banking industry, would set up the processes to immediately address the matter.

"In doing so, we will rely strictly on the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Central Bank Nigeria Act of 2007 as amended, Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act, as well as other requisite legal and regulatory instruments."

According to the chairman, the Committee on Banking and currency had been briefed "extensively on the cashless and wireless payment system policy of the Central bank, which we understand was designed to reduce actual cash in circulation".

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the CBN had in 2011, introduced a Cashless Policy that encouraged payments with Credit Card, Debit Card or Mobile Money.

This implied that citizens could avoid the high risk of travelling with large sums of money for their business transactions.

The CBN recently announced its plan to introduce the N5,000 note and convert the lower denominations from N5 to N50 into coins.



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