Fred Itua, Abuja and Joe Effiong, Uyo
Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Uba Sani and a member of House of Representatives, Mr Patrick Ifon have disagreed on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cashless policy on charges on deposits and withdrawals by commercial banks.
While Ifon describes the policy as senseless with the prospect of further worsening personal economies of Nigerians, Sani hailed it, saying it holds the potential of curbing corruption and tax evasion.
Ifon, who represents Eket federal constituency, said the policy is senseless because of the absence of requisite facilities to support cashless transactions in Nigeria at the moment.
“Like now, there is no ATM in Onna Local Governmnent Area, and if you transfer money to someone who cannot get it since there is no bank here, you have to bring the cash to them or else the whole world would be told that you played them 419,” said Ifon
“If someone lends money and the person wants to pay back, and you begin to tax a percentage of the money, it means that the whole interest would be wiped off and that would discourage lending which eventually would adversely affect business development,” Ifon said.
Sani, who lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent constitution of an Economic Advisory Council as a clear indication of his commitment to building a strongeconomy, said the CBN cashless policy would complement governments effort in fighting corruption.
Said Sani: “Cashless policy helps in reducing the inflow of illicit money, curbs corruption, counterfeiting of notes, black economy/parallel economy, money laundering, funding of acts of terrorism and tax evasion. These are some of the illicit activities of the economy that a cashless economy can curb
“Electronic payments can also easily be tracked and no transactions will thus go unnoticed. And, if the government does notice fraudulent financial behaviour, it can block or freeze accounts, stopping the activity in its tracks,” Sani said.
Sani said the new economic team suggests that President Buhari is desirous to reinvigorate the economy, tackle poverty, and grow GDP.He said the Senate will fast-track the passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
“If the budget is passed on time, the process would return the country to the annual budget of January to December. The perennial delay in passing the annual budgets in the past, gave a wrong impression that the legislature was either ignorant of its responsibility or intentionally frustrating the efforts of the executive arm to perform. We need to change the wrong perception,” Sani said.