Still on the ‘Emefielenomics’ Wahala

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You don’t burn a whole forest because you want to kill two rats. Nigerians supporting Godwin Emefiele on the basis of political sentiments believing that the cashless policy will determine the eventual winner of the upcoming presidential elections are to me myopic.

I say they are myopic because the elections will come and go in few weeks time but the irreversible damage the ill implemented cashless policy will create will cost lives, Jobs and livelihoods.

The rural Nigeria lacks deep internet penetration and digital literacy level is still very low. The villages in the hinterlands not on Federal roads across Nigeria far exceeds those seen when passing through trunk A roads. Even along trunk A roads, there is always internet fluctuations. Take, for instance, a trip from Abuja to Lokoja or Abuja to Kaduna via the Federal highways, these two trips average 2hrs drive if moving at a speed of 120km/h. A vast length of this trip lacks internet penetration as calls requiring lower internet strength cannot be made.

Now imagine how this will impact on the livelihoods of the populace under a cashless policy.

These villages also have a near zero proximity to Banks so how does the POS agent who has access to just 100k withdrawal limit travel a distance of almost two hours to get what he is unsure of getting on arriving at the closest Bank Branch.

Between Lokoja and Abuja, for instance, we have just one Bank across a road that takes two hours on minimum drive. This is First Bank Abaji Branch which is almost midway between Abuja and Lokoja. Economic activities will definitely be collapsed across the Abuja-Lokoja corridor.

A similar fate await many rural communities across Nigeria.

In the interim, the policy should be suspended, internet penetration and coverage improved to 100percent. This will take the telecom companies a while to implement because it involves investment in telecom infrastructures, rural banking licences should be given to digital banks that will have limited coverage across Local Governments, massive POS deployments, National Banks also have to strengthen their IT infrastructure to meet the upsurge in digital Banking, reversals of failed transactions should also be automated as this will drive confidence of the populace after this, we are good to go cashless but for now, the cashless is to destroy the economy.

On the claims that the political class is to be tamed with the policy, what is the function of the politicised Nigeria Financial intelligence unit/EFCC?

– Abbey Funsho Kingsley wrote from Lokoja.

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