The Association of Corporate Treasurers of Nigeria(ACTN) October 2019 meeting and seminar on the implication of Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) new 5-year vision threw up the fact that the new policy thrust is not yet well explained as most of the members of the association seem not to be clear about many issues arising from the new vision.
For instance most of the corp orates who are involved in fast moving consumer goods feel that insistence on cashless payment would not be in their own interests as customers worldwide are naturally free to purchase low cost products with cash and that if this happens they are likely going to surfer as charges from the banks are going to wipe off their profits.
According to other observers,the same may also happen to and Mosques who ordinarily due not pay tax being NGOs.Even the now suspended Financial Reporting Council law that mandated that schools,banks and companies owned by churches should pay tax stressed that the religious body itself is exempted from taxes.
Hence the position of ACTN members like Thomas Joseph that CBN needs to come out clean about the cashless policy so that the confusion over it would be cleaned up in the overall interest of the society as the policy has far reaching implication for the entire economy.
Other members also felt that the CBN commitment on Agriculture is good but worried that the security crisis in our rural area may put that bold move by the central bank in jeopardy as government has been promising without success to deliver on security and infrastructure for the past four years.
But in his answer to the mortley of fears expressed by his listeners, Kabir Okunlola,Partner,Audit Services KPMG stressed that the CBN plan is apparently based on its role as the kingpin in Monetary Policy and that its up for the government which over sees the fiscal policy and provide security and the private sector to do their bit to make the economy successful.
However it was his position that a lot still needs to be done by CBN to further clear the air on how it wants the cashless policy to work sector by sector and at tandem with our extant laws in the overall interest of the society,
It was his view that the cashless policy would help inclusive banking,even as he posited that the 5-year vision is””very bold and bullish but very necessary.There is going to be high fiscal policy challenges.CBN is being used as an agent to manage a lot of risks which the government faces,”‘he said.
According to him CBN is committing to intervening in our agriculture and manufacturing value chain,improve access to credit,improve purchasing power,maintain single digit inflation rate,diversify economy and support export of non-oil products.It aims to boost this to $13billion.
ACTN Interim Council headed by Ozil Akaigbe and the Exec.Secretary/CEO,Patrick Ajunwoko used the opportunity of the event to introduce its in-coming Council members and disclosed plans to train its members abroad.
The also disclosed that the association is being restructured and will be reaching out to various sectors of the economy to get more buy-in into its goals and purposes.