No deadline for the country to go cashless, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed.
The apex bank said efforts are on widening payment platforms and make them available for Nigerians.
Mr Chika Ugwueze, CBN’s Assistant Director in charge of Payment System Management, made this disclosure on Monday at an awareness and sensitisation campaign on cashless policy and e-Naira for traders at the popular Watt Market in Calabar.
The awareness campaign, which was put together by the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, featured a popular Nollywood actor, Imeh Bishop-Umoh, popularly called “Okon Lagos”.
Ugwueze explained that the campaign was meant to sensitise the public on the CBN cashless policy as an alternative to cash usage in Nigeria.
He said that the CBN initiated the e-Naira platform as an alternative to cash.
“There is no deadline for going cashless; we are just presenting options that will widen payment platforms and make them available for Nigerians,” he said.
The apex bank Chief also added, “The important message to all Nigerians is that the e-Naira is not an alternative to your bank account, but an alternative to cash in your wallet because it offers efficiency in payment and improves security.
“Generally, the e-Naira has helped to deepen the payment options in the market. The CBN has developed different platforms for using the e-Naira.
“As long as you have a telephone in Nigeria, you can have access to e-Naira.”
Also, Mr Thomas Udie, Relationship Manager, Access Bank, Calabar, said that the initiative was to create awareness on the cashless policy and e-Naira.
Udie stressed the need for traders and residents of the state to embrace the different platforms of electronic transactions with a view to reducing the movement of cash.
He also revealed that Access bank branches in Calabar have no issues with cash disbursement to customers, adding that the CBN has been supplying them with cash for business.
He said that the queues in most of the Access bank branches in Calabar metropolis have also reduced.
Also, Mrs Ebere Bassey, Assistant Banking Officer, Zenith Bank, Calabar, said that the awareness was timely in view of the cashless policy of the CBN.
Bassey encouraged the traders to embrace the electronic means of payment and reduce the over dependence on cash.
One of the traders at the event, Mrs Theresa Okon, said that although the policy was a good one, they still needed cash for their day-to-day businesses.
The Nollywood actor, who spoke in the Efik language, urged the traders to embrace electronic payment with a view to reducing movement of cash and to making transactions seamless.