The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debunked claims that the new policy of fees being charged on deposits and withdrawals would affect all bank accounts.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, explained addressing journalists in Abuja said that the charges on savings and withdrawals above N500,000 will only affect about five per cent bank users.
The new policy, would impose a 2% charge on deposit of withdrawal of excess limit of N500,000 and charge five per cent processing fees on withdrawals and three per cent processing fee on lodgements of amounts above N3m for corporate accounts.
Reacting to the resolution The House of Representatives had on Thursday directed to CBN to suspend the policy, Emefiele said if the Nigerian economy was to compete effectively with those of developed countries, it had to go through a payment system that encourages the use of non-cash channels.
He said that before the cashless policy was first inaugurated in 2012, a lot of stakeholder engagements were done to sensitise Nigerians on its benefits.
Since the policy was suspended in 2014 to allow more payment channels to be developed by Deposit Money Banks, currency management cost had continued to increase year-on-year at an average annual growth rate of 33 per cent.
On the Value Added Tax, he said the Monetary Policy Communiques (MPC) supported the decision of the Federal Government to increase the rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent.
According to him, Nigeria has one of the lowest VAT rates in the world and the nation is faced with fiscal challenges, the best way to shore up revenue was to increase tax.
While acknowledging that the decision to increase VAT might be painful to Nigerians, Emefiele asserted that the benefit of such move far outweighed the cost.