Banks operating in Abuja and the five states of Abia, Abuja, Kano, Ogun and Rivers yesterday commenced the implementation of the cashless policy of the Central Bank Nigerian (CBN) even as customers called for more enlightenment about the policy.
Many of the banks in these states and Abuja had messages boldly announcing the new policy in their premises in addition to earlier short messages and e-mails sent to their customers prior to commencement of the policy.
Though many of the customers who spoke to LEADERSHIP applauded the new policy, they were also sceptical that the policy might create avenues for fraudulent persons to issue dud cheques and in the process, defraud them. In Abia State, the policy took off with the majority of the banking public complaining that they have not been properly sensitised.
Mr. Uche Ihema, who is a sales representative with LG Electronic in Umuahia, agreed that the policy was good as it would ensure that people carry less volume of cash with them.
At most commercial banks monitored in Umuahia by LEADERSHIP, staff of the banks said the implementation of the policy has commenced without hitches and that their customers were already aware of what the policy entailed.
A cash officer with Diamond Bank, Mr Jude Amadi, said the bank has taken its time to explain to its customers how the policy works and has also allayed their fears on the issuing of dud cheques.
He however advised that individuals making purchases within the N500, 000 limits, could seek confirmation of their cheques from any of the bank’s branches before releasing their goods to avoid being defrauded.
At the Umuahia branch of the CBN, Chief Festus Mbachu, who is designated ‘Cash- less Champion’ explained that the policy would go a long way in helping the country achieve its vision 20:2020 agenda.
Mbachu said the apex bank and the commercial banks were still engaged in educating the public on the merits of the policy, adding that the advantages to both individuals and corporate bodies were too enormous to be ignored.
In Anambra State, the policy took off yesterday with the banking public demanding more education on the new innovation from the apex bank.
Most customers of commercial banks who spoke with LEADERSHIP at different locations in Awka, the state capital, claimed total ignorance of the policy especially as it affects their business transactions.
Uche Oraneli, a business man in Awka told LEADERSHIP at Diamond Bank’s branch located along the Enugu – Onitsha expressway in Awka that the CBN should try to educate customers of commercial banks on how to transact businesses through the banks under the new policy.
A staff of Diamond Bank who didn’t want his name mentioned in print told LEADERSHIP that they had a hectic time explaining to customers what the new policy was all about.
At the Access Bank branch along the same expressway, Mr Chukwudi Iloeje, managing director of an oil and gas company, however described the new policy as most convenient and safe in business transactions as it would ease the process of making and receiving payments from customers.
He, however, agreed that there was need to shade more light on the new policy to enable those who were not informed to gain first-hand knowledge and avoid a situation where they might start stock-piling cash in their homes.
Meanwhile the cashless policy according to the CBN was aimed at improving the economy by encouraging less cash available in the hands of individuals who might begin to spend them recklessly.
According to the CBN officials when they visited Governor Peter Obi, earlier to announce the date for the commencement of the policy in the state, the new monetary policy would check-mate corruption among public office holders.
They further stated that it would reduce crime as people would no longer have to carry about much cash, especially to finance their businesses.