The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor (Operations), Mr. Tunde Lemo, said Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Anambra, Abia, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), control about 90 per cent of the total cash transactions in the country.
Therefore, these states were being slated for the second phase of the cash-less project which will be launched on the 1st of July, 2013.
The cash-less policy was implementation in Lagos in January, last year. It is aimed at reducing the dominance of cash in the system.
The policy specifies penal charges for withdrawal or cash lodging above prescribed limits (individual accounts at N500,000 per day and N3 million per day for corporate accounts).
Lemo disclosed that there have been and there are still challenges with the cash-less project, but most of them are being resolved.
He listed one of the major challenges to include interconnectivity in some of the clusters, which he said, is being addressed.
Lemo said besides the use of alternative channels of transactions such as Point of Sales (PoS), the cashless project would be driven through the telephone considering the fact that Nigeria is second in number of mobile phone users in sub Saharan Africa after South Africa.
Lemo also said the cash-less policy had been successful in Lagos, adding that the number of PoS machines in Lagos has increased significantly from about 5,000 when the policy took off last year, to over 150,000.
“We still have a few challenges, but if I look back, I really would say that we have done a lot to transform the payment system in Lagos through PoS,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer, Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN), Mrs. Onajite Regha, said the coming on board on the next phase of the cash-less policy in July may raise the value of electronic funds transfer in the country to N160 billion per day by the end of the year.
“The current value of electronic fund transfers put at N80 billion per day by the CBN, would most likely double because there would be a lot of changes, which would compel people to use e-Fund transfer channels,” said Regha.
The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) is handling transactions worth about N20 billon daily, while the Nigeria Electronic Funds Transfer is conducting about N60 billion worth of transactions daily.