The Nigerian House of Representatives has ordered the apex bank in Nigeria, CBN to immediately suspend the extra charges on cash deposit and withdrawals above N500, 000.
The motion which was moved yesterday by Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Benjamin Kalu and it was adopted that the house concerned with currency should interface with the CBN and ascertain whether it is absolutely needful to have such a policy like this at this time.
One of the major concerns of the house was that given the prevailing economic situation in the country, such a policy will only bring more hardship to the citizens of this country.
MY TAKE ON THE CHARGES ADOPTED BY THE CBN
The central bank of Nigeria has adopted a good strategy to discourage the flow of physical cash and to promote the use of electronic payment in the country, well this may not go down well with some individuals or stakeholders as the case may be, and some of these stakeholders are:
THE COMMON CITIZEN
The everyday man doing his business may be affected because as we all know we have network fluctuations in this country a lot, you might even enter the bank to make transfer and the cashier will be telling you that the network is bad, and someone is waiting for you to see the alert so that he can release or process your business order.
Another case is the one they will even process for you at the bank and it will take ages to get to the recipient of the transaction, this is just one of the reasons some Nigerians go with cash to transact business because the network of cash does not fail.
Then let’s take the case of those who are not educated enough to make use of these means, well those set of people won’t even like to deposit their money in the bank in the first instance due to the stress it will impose on them. So let take a look at the second set of stakeholder.
THE POLITICAL CLASS
Education is not the problem of these set of people, at least they can write and write and can, therefore, make use of these channels of moving monies without the physical cash, but there is a catch here.
Most of these people like to move around physical cash due to it not being traceable and the amount is mostly humongous, so let do the calculations, say they want to withdraw N500,000,000 as cash, this means they will be subjected to 3 percent of that amount which is N15,000,000. That’s really huge seriously I think I will be opening a bank very soon because if you withdraw such an amount, the gain on it is enough to pay so many staff and still have profit.
This is the major reason; they will kick against it and won’t allow it to see the light of the day.
You can’t transfer money to someone account on the election day for bribing the voters, if you do that, you have already put the nail in your coffin because that becomes a piece of evidence that is easily traceable back to you, so you are left with the choice of going through cash.
And the final stakeholders
THE COMMERCIAL BANKS
These are the group that has nothing to lose but all to gain, but they should be able to tell us whether the profit is all theirs, which should be the case since they are the ones running the business or the CBN has a share in it.
All in all, the common man will suffer more than the political class but I think it is better for the policy to hold because it will push the political class of either exposing themselves or parting with such huge amount of money to maintain their secrecy which might have some other side effect also. But this is all I know for now.