I want to thank the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for introducing this cashless policy. This is one of the best things that can happen to this nation, Nigeria. With what is going on in Nigeria today, this policy is apt, if properly managed. If more money than the Central Bank issue is going around, it means that some unpatriotic Nigerians are playing unscrupulous games. How can we beat them?
Let’s take these measures.
First, the governor and the government should phase out the use of N1,000, N500 and N200 notes. These notes are causing more problems to the nation than they solve. This country will do much better without them.
Second, the highest denomination of money in the country should be N100 (one hundred naira note.) Don’t say, “it won’t work.” Have you tried it? After all, the highest denomination in the USA and Canada is $100. The highest denomination of money in Britain is £100. And in most European countries, the highest denomination of their country’s money is 100 notes of their currency. If it works in those countries, why would it not work in Nigeria?
Third, the problem we are having in Nigeria today is the high denomination of currencies we are using. This will beat those who take advantage of N1,000, N500 and N200 to go on a printing spree. All of us are suffering today because of these big money denominations.
Fourth, the government should introduce the use of credit cards to pay for large scale expenses and purchases. With this, every business man would possess a credit card machine through which purchases and expenses can be paid for. The credit card machine would be made for individual businesses to link his account. By this, payment can be made direct to the account of the seller of goods. It will operate as ATM card and POS machines. With your credit card, you don’t need to carry cash.
A credit card is the means by which payment can be made for goods purchased and services rendered. It may be the solution to counter excess money flowing around in the country.
Fifth, transfer of money is fraught with dangers. Some crooks who do business may claim to transfer money, but really, they won’t transfer. So, the man who sells goods may wait for a transfer without getting his money. But the credit card machine will check if the buyer has enough money in his account from which the cost of the transaction can be transferred instantly into the seller’s account. I have been a victim of transfer when the man did not transfer the money, but he claimed to transfer money.
Sixth, every man who wants to do business should possess a credit card by which he can pay for his expenses. The credit card will be issued by the bank to link the individual to his account. So, the man with a credit card doesn’t need to carry cash and he needs not to be afraid of how to pay for his expenses. The credit card is doing business without carrying cash. The credit card is to transfer money instantly from the account of the owner to whoever he does business with.
If you want to phase out the N1,000, N500 and N200 notes, don’t do it all at once, but do it one after the other. First, phase out N1,000; followed by N500 and lastly the N200.
In this way, each of them will have a time space of about 30-60 days in between them. As a result, Nigerians will not be put to stress for not having money to spend. They will get their money to spend while the credit card will be working side by side with the phase out, until all the big denominations are out of circulation.
To solve the problem of too much money flowing around in the country, is not by changing the color of the currencies or changing the designs of the notes. Since Nigeria gained independence in 1960, the currency notes of this country must have been changed about three times. And yet, the culprits who print money are walking around among us as free as the birds in the air. And if the government doesn’t catch these people, we will continue to go around in one circle, without moving forward.
If we do this, it will help to curb the excessive spending spree of Nigerians.
If we take this measure, we would have captured one avenue by which excess money can enter into the economy of this nation. If we do this, we would have taken one step, and if the problem persists, we will know that there is another way we need to find out. But for now, this avenue is the most obvious venue.
For now, printing of our currencies by some is the only possible explanation for the excess money that enters into the country. So, let’s block it.
Richard Obasuyi, a public commentator, writes from Benin City