CASHLESS POLICY: NIGERIA SHOULD ADDRESS CHALLENGE OF POROUS BOARDERS
By Babajide Komolafe
The Director-General of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), Dr Abdullahi Shehu has said that there is need for Nigerian authorities to address the problem of porous border in order to achieve the objective of the cashless policy.
He made this observation at an international conference on Customer Due Diligence organised by Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Bank in Nigeria (CCCOBIN).
Commenting on the cashless policy, he listed five major challenges to the policy, which needs to be addressed for the effective implementation of the policy.
He said, 'as with any new policy, there will always be initial challenges and thus, I would recommend that in the implementation of the policy, the following infrastructural elements be considered:
There is the need to ensure adequate enforcement of laws on dud cheques, as confidence building on banks, as the use of cheques as a medium of settlement is expected to increase under this policy.
The security of all payment platforms especially cards should be enhanced to reduce incidences of fraud through such channels.
The national identification program should be given adequate support to ensure that all residents in Nigeria are fully captured thereby facilitating customer identification and verification as envisaged in Recommendation 10 of the revised FATF Standards.
In view of rural nature of the country, and in line with the microfinance policy of ensuring access to funds by the under-banked segment of the society, there may be need to give exceptional concession to the microfinance banks/institutions who are required on daily basis to carry out several transactions with their clients for both deposit taking and granting of credits.
There is the need to address the issue of porous borders as many business people may resort to using banks in neighbouring countries with lax banking policy. This is a major challenge for curbing cross-border transportation of cash into Nigeria.
He commended the introduction of the policy saying, 'GIABA published its first typologies report on cash transactions in 2007. The report revealed the methods used in cash transactions for the purposes of laundering the proceeds of crime.