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atm Kwara State will commence its cashless financial services on July 1st, 2014, the Central Bank of Nigeria has announced. This was made known by the acting governor of the CBN, Dr. Sarah Alade on Tuesday in Ilorin, the state capital, during the bank’s sensitization exercise on cashless policy. In a key note address, Dr. Alade said that six states and the FCT Abuja have started the implementation of the cashless policy and that the sensitization program will be extended to both formal and informal sectors of the country. Mr. Sunday Olatewo, the Branch Controller of the CBN in Ilorin, who represented Dr. Alade said that the CBN and the Nigerian Bankers’ Committee inaugurated a study in 2010 to identify ways of enhancing service delivery in the nation’s financial sector. He announced that the study revealed high cash usage in the economy and that it has a high cost implication in the financial value chain. In her address, Alade said, “The total cost of the financial system was projected to surpass N190 billion by the end of 2012 if nothing was done. The cost excluded production, distribution, processing and destruction by CBN.” She said that the aim of the cashless policy was to reduce the use of physical cash for payment and not eliminate it totally. According to her, the cashless policy would also reduce robbery, cash related crimes, kidnapping, election rigging, revenue leakage and corruption. The Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, she said, was inaugurated to raise the level of awareness on vulnerabilities that exist on the e-channels. She continued, “Exchange of fraud information among institutions has also been encouraged with the view that as a system, we are only as strong as our weakest link.’ Olatewo, however, told newsmen after the forum that cash transactions below N500,000 and N3 million would still be allowed for individual and corporate bodies respectively.  

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This article was first published on 26th March 2014

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