Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has described the extension of cash-less policy to Kano State as an unripe move, capable of impacting negatively on economic activities and discourage depositors from banking.
Also, businessmen in the state insisted that transactions remain the prime choice of the people.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, ICAN Chairman, Kano/Jigawa District, Mrs Mary Egbuna said cash-less system is a global concept and has proven effective in many advance economy but maintained that implementation of the policy in Nigeria may not gain wider acceptance especially among the business community that still depend on cash transactions in the North.
She lamented lack of orientation on the part of regulators and financial illiteracy among business community, as the policy may force traders to seek alternative means of saving money that may be injurious to the banking system.
“The policy is good and would really help Nigerian economy to grow if well implemented, but if you ask me, I will say we are not yet there. Remember the same pilot scheme was kick-started in Lagos and we all witnessed the reactions and challenges bedeviling the system.
“We have not taken care of those problems before the extension to five more states including Kano. Much as I so much believe in the policy, the implementation in Kano may not work well”, she said.
Egbuna added: “Don’t forget Kano is a nerve center of business activities. Businessmen here rely on cash transactions in millions of naira. Unfortunately, many of these business tycoons are not well lettered. How can you insist that customers must pay fine for withdrawing more money beyond the stipulated cash.”
The ICAN chairman urged the regulators to relax the extension of the policy to states like Kano and invest more on public enlightenment and build on public confidence before implementation.
A businessman Alhaji Iliyasu Abubakar lamented that the policy may not work in Kano since many businessmen and women are still in the dark about the system. “This people are not serious at all. It would be difficulty. How can you determine the amount of money I will withdraw and I must pay again for collecting more in my own account? It’s a joke”.
Another textile dealer in the popular Kori market in the city, Isyaku Aminu blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria for rushing the business community into what he called untimely policy. He noted that many financial institutions too may not help the matter.
Observations at commercial banks in Kano metropolis revealed large crowd of customers facing the hardship of the new system. Customers at almost all the ATM visited also lamented service failure.
After series of postponements CBN finally kick-started the extension of cash-less policy to additional five states, including Kano.