The World Bank has endorsed the planned cashless banking policy recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This was disclosed during the launch of a book entitled Achieving Nigeria’s Financial System Strategy 2020: Making Finance Work for Nigeria by the World Bank in Abuja at the weekend.
In the book that appraises Nigeria’s readiness in its quest to become one of the largest economies in the world by the year 2020, the World Bank says operating a cashless society in Nigeria is a key strategy to fast-tracking growth in the nation’s financial sector.
The World Bank further notes that getting access to finance and developing a vibrant market that would create more jobs requires the backing of a solid and modern financial sector.
It observes that moving cash around is considered normal in Nigeria but warns that, as the world increasingly moves towards cashless society, continuing with the fashion of moving around with cash takes the nation’s financial sector a step backward.
The CBN announced its intention to implement the cashless banking policy with effect from June 2012. It drew a lot of apprehension from the general public and stakeholders.
The Senate Committee on Banking and Currency, in a response, invited the CBN to a public hearing it held on the matter, where Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi explained the reasons for the policy and what the banking system and the economy stand to gain from the new policy.
He appealed for the understanding of all stakeholders and promised that the CBN and banks would soon embark on massive enlightenment campaigns. He confirmed that the CBN would go ahead to implement the policy with some adjustments if found necessary.