The Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN], Deputy Director, Banking and Payments System Policy, Musa Jimoh has reiterated that the country’s “financial inclusion strategy is not CBN’s project. It is a national strategy”.
Jimoh who spoke at the Financial Inclusion Conference held at the Lagos Business School [LBS] said that several CBN departments and stakeholders’ forum examine its policies in relations to financial inclusion and that the apex bank regularly shared the outcome of these policies with all participants at the very high level.
“We have a process in CBN today. Before any policy is pronounced, the first thing we do is to expose it to the industry, send it to the stakeholders involved and post it on our website. We do that to request feedbacks and gauge how to make it more resourceful,” he said.
He added that the apex bank has other key stakeholders that “review all the feedbacks that have been provided. That is the kind of engagements that we go through before we finally come up with any policy.”
Jimoh whose responsibilities at the CBN involved the development of payment systems through effective payment policy, framework, and providing oversight on the participants of the payment systems in the entire financial market infrastructure for effective monetary system, explained that “if that is not done, the CBN will become obsolete. That is why we constantly review our policies. People say it is CBN summersault. It is not CBN summersault”, he said.
The CBN director cited the example of the cashless policy when CBN announced a penalty for bank customers that exceed certain lodgment limit. He said that the CBN did not just “sit down and come out with policy”.
He pointed out that the figure published was derived after a very lengthen discussions with payment industry stakeholders, the demands, consumer points, the cost of cash processing to the industry, why the cost of banking services is so high and was narrowed down that over 50% of the total cost of the banking industry was coming from cash processing and the objective then was how to bring down the cost.
“What the CBN did was to reduce the quantum of cash in circulation and try to digitize it because electronic transaction is much cheaper. The kind of feedbacks we got from the public sometimes is unfair. It was in our commitment to ensure that we have a very safe and sound financial system.
“We know that CBN listens. When we have feedbacks, we work on it. We invite stakeholders to examine the feedbacks. The same principle applies to the BVN issue. When we implemented BVN in 2014, we requested Nigerians to enroll.
“The moment we announced that anyone who does not have BVN would not be able to withdraw from his bank accounts, the issue became a national issue. When we come with a good policy, people will always want to puncture it”, he said.