The banking public have urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to improve public awareness of the cash-less policy, than it is doing presently.
According to some members of the banking public, insufficient knowledge of the policy has affected customers’ cash flow and is threatening their businesses. Respondents, therefore, urged the CBN to either improve sensitisation on the policy or drop the idea.
The CBN had commenced the cash-less policy at the beginning of the year, with Lagos as the Pilot scheme, following its announcement in April last year, with the objective of promoting use of electronic payment channels instead of cash for payment.
For instance, some traders at the Oke Arin Market, in Lagos Island, said their customers who buys good worth millions of Naira have reduced their purchase to enable them do business with the little cash they have at hand.
Michael Thomas, the Secretary General of the Ebute- Ero Market, warned that except “something urgent is done to begin proper awareness, the policy might not achieve it aims and will inflict more hardship on the citizens”.
Olajide Salau, the Secretary General of Alakoro Market, Olajide, appealed to CBN to intensify awareness beyond television and radio adverts by involving various market leaders, communities’ leaders, and religions leaders in the country to spread the news of the cash-less policy.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has ordered all banks and financial institutions to provide relevant information to its auditors and those from the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), for full implementation of its gazetted Anti-Money Laundering /Combating Financial Terrorism (AML/CFT) Risked Based Supervision Framework of 2011.
The apex bank also announced that it has commenced the full implementation of the gazette, which is aimed at curbing money laundering and other financial crimes within the banking sector.
This development comes on the heels of an earlier directive to banks and other financial institutions to set up an internal whistle-blowing mechanism to expose any internal sharp practices that is capable of affecting CBN’s monetary policies meant to sanitise and boost the financial sector.
The apex bank also said it has designed a risk assessment template to gather all statistics on money laundering from the banks under CBN purview.
“The risk assessment questionnaire is designed to obtain information that would enable the bank examiners assess the adequacy or otherwise of the control functions in place to mitigate the Money Laundering and Financial Terrorism risks identified in your institutions,” a statement on its website said. “Other AML/CFT Templates provide uniform formats for all financial institutions to render their returns for ease of processing by the CBN and NFIU.”
The bank said it expects lenders to render returns by the end of this month.
Also, security agencies in the country have stepped up training aimed at checking terrorists funding.
Bunu Nduka, the Director of Programmes and Projects of Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, said the trainings will provide participants with the knowledge and tools required to file mandatory and suspicious reports to relevant authorities.