Former vice chancellor of the University of Uyo and a renowned economist, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, has raised doubt on the possible success of the cashless policy being introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying the policy, which is currently being experimented in Lagos, may not yield the expected result.
The CBN proposed a cashless economy for Nigeria and chose Lagos to experiment the policy.
Prof. Ekpo, in exclusive chat with LEADERSHIP WEEKEND, maintained that in a developed economy, such policy succeeds because of the existence of infrastructural development and a highly enlightened population , stressing that for a country like Nigeria where there is no electricity and the population is largely made up of uninformed agrarians who operate small scale businesses and reside mostly in the rural areas, the best may not be achieved through the policy.
“The policy, if successful, will boost the economy of the country, but Nigeria is a country driven by the informal sector. In Nigeria, the laws are not effective to build trust for cheques to be accepted. In advanced countries, one will go to jail for issuing a bounced cheque.
“As it is, it may be difficult for the people to understand the importance of the policy and get acquainted with its operations, ” he said.
For the policy to succeed, the American-trained economist advised that the CBN should continuously educate the public. “The policy should be given enough time for Nigerians to get acquainted with its operations. Also, efforts should be made to advance the educational and technological standard of living of Nigerians,” he stressed.