The House of Representatives on Thursday, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt implementation of the cashless policy it recently re-introduced, which imposes charges on deposits and withdrawals above N500,000 for individuals and N3million for corporate bodies.
The lawmakers who gave the instruction at Thursday’s plenary, argued that the policy will lead to a decrease in credit extension by Deposit Money Banks, as well as impact negatively on small and medium enterprises which, according to them, are the engine room for growth of the economy.
Spokesperson for the house, Benjamin Kalu, had in a motion, urged his colleagues to call for the suspension of the policy pending further consultations on it.
According to him, while the policy is expected to reduce risk of cash-related crimes among other benefits, its implementation would have negative impacts on micro, small, and medium enterprises thereby throwing many of them out of business and sending more Nigerians into poverty.
The lawmaker said while Nigerians are still battling with the burden of the numerous bank charges introduced by commercial banks, the CBN deemed it necessary to impose the implementation of cashless policy on deposits, without due consultations with all shades of stakeholder who will be impacted by the policy.
“This overbearing burden is aimed at closing down majority of micro, mini, small and medium businesses in Nigeria while enriching Nigerian money deposit banks owned by a privileged few, without any known financial contribution to the consolidated revenue fund of the federation.”
The lower legislative chamber subsequently adopted the notion and urged the CBN to suspend the implementation of the policy until the necessary consultative process is concluded.
It also directed its committee on banking and currency to meet with the apex bank to ascertain the relevance and need for such measure considering the prevailing economic situation of the country.