The Senate Rejects CBN’s Proposed Cashless Economy

Oct 7, 2011 – The Senate Rejects CBN’s Proposed Cashless Economy

The Senate, on Thursday, collectively sustained its show of aversion for the Central Bank of Nigeria’s proposed cashless economy since their first opposition in May.

The senators kicked against the CBN’s plans to drive the nation’s economy completely cashless while arguing against a bill seeking to aid the cashless economy.

The bill, sponsored by Adegbenga Kaka (ACN Ogun State), seeks to regulate the transfer of money by an electronic terminal by use of a card for the purpose of instructing or authorising a financial institution to debit a cardholder’s account.

Kaka is a first time senator and had mentioned in his lead argument that the bill will enhance the CBN’s plan for cashless economy, a plan most of the senators have opposed since it was announced by Lamido Sanusi, the CBN governor earlier this year.

Shortly after announcing the planned digitalisation of Nigeria’s economy, Sanusi was invited by the senate in May to explain the proposal. He, however, refused to bulge in the face of skepticism from the lawmakers, arguing that the system was ready to go cashless. Since May, the senators have never collectively voiced their aversion to the plan since then.

While arguing the electronic banking fraud bill, the senators admitted the effectiveness of the bill but argued that favouring it would mean an endorsement of the CBN’s cashless economy plan.

The senators also admitted that transacting in a cashless economy overseas is impressive but argued that Nigeria lacked adequate infrastructure and credibility to run such systems.

“Our system is not ready for cashless society,” said Danjuma Goje (PDP Gombe State). Goje, who was governor of Gombe State for eight years, said his constituents were too “rural” to integrate with an electronic run economy.

“A cashless society is anti people and ungodly,” said Smart Adeyemi (PDP Kogi State), adding that a cashless economy is against biblical principles and is also an aberration of traditional methods.

“We do not have enough infrastructures to support cashless economy in this country,” said Ganiyu Solomon (ACN Lagos State).

The bill was later withdrawn. Kaka is expected to redraft it before it can be heard again.(Daily Times)