FOUR REASONS WHY CASHLESS ECONOMIC POLICY SHOULD BE EMBRACED

OPINION By: Ogakwu Julius Ogbaji

The cashless policy is a complement to the Naira Redesigned strategy; they are just twin brothers though with four legs but two hands and one head.

The cashless policy will benefit the poorer masses (proletariat) more than the ruling class (Bourgeoisie).

The cashless policy is another best policy of this administration thus far and should be embraced by all and sundry.

The cashless policy if well managed and implemented is capable of fighting inflation to a standstill.

Nigeria is projected by the United Nations to be the third most populous nation in the world taking over from the USA by 2050, if this measure is not taken now the country will be worse off.

H.E President Muhammadu Buhari might have lost his re-election bid if this policy was implemented before the 2019 general elections because over 70% of his party men may neither work nor vote for him for the fear of the unknown as we have started seeing the jittering from so many high profile persons and institutions already.

The cashless policy does have some disadvantages as well.

According to PRASANNA, an Indian Author and Editor-in-Chief with Aplus Topper, a cashless economy is an economic system where digital transactions such as net/ mobile banking, digital wallets, and paying by debit or credit cards substitute the traditional payment method made through cash.

A cashless policy is an economic policy aimed at reducing the amount of produced currency in the economy; it involves more electronic-based payments.

The right strategies, incentives, infrastructure, and regulation can encourage innovation and boost public confidence in noncash systems.

Public and private partnerships can also be critical in marshaling the expertise and creating momentum.

Numerous examples around the world illustrate how cashless payments are economic propellers.

Cash is no longer king. Economies that are more cash-intensive tend to grow slowly and miss out on significant financial benefits.

Conversely, BCG research shows that economies that switch to digital are more successful; the switch can boost annual GDP by as much as 3 percentage points.

The Good About Cashless Policy

Reduction in the Printing of Cost of Physical Currency.

According to the USA Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, each year, the Federal Reserve Board projects the likely demand for the new currency and places an order with the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which produces U.S. currency and charges the Board for the cost of production.

The 2022 currency operating budget is $1,060.0 million. Just like in the US, every naira note produced attracted a cost. Before now, just like crude oil that we export before importing the PMS back with a severe trade imbalance on our current account, we were equally told that naira is being produced outside the country with a serious cost.

The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Limited will henceforth print naira as they did for the newly redesigned naira notes which will make the country one out of the four African countries that print their currencies locally and not import from foreign countries, and this is a plus to Nigeria.

Although, the real point here is that, if the cashless policy is effectively implemented physical notes will be printed which means less expenditure on the cost of printing currency in Nigeria.

A Tool to Fight Corruption And Ensure A Transparent System.

Theft or fraudulent acts concerning cash will be reduced to the bare minimum. Following the note ban, nobody would dare to steal money, which will promptly hinder the theft since the banks won’t accept that money anywhere.

As opined by the World Economic Forum, cashless technologies could be a game changer and some of the greatest assets in the fight against corruption and organized crime too.

If everyone were connected to an end-to-end payment infrastructure-a cashless environment-there would be transparency in money flows. Whether it’s international aid or private investment, if everyone in the chain were connected digitally, you could see where the money went and how it was spent.

Any sums appearing outside of that framework could immediately be flagged and investigated. This would narrow the focus for law enforcement and forensic accountants, making it easier to target and recoup hidden money.

Less Hoarding and Forged Currency.

An unconfirmed report has it that Nigerians had returned over 1 trillion naira since the inception of the naira redesigning policy. A lot of people who are afraid of returning money to banks on their own are using the same to buy properties, farmland, and other investments, all of these actions directly or indirectly lubricating the economy through effective liquidity circulation.

And since you can no longer hoard currency the forged currency values will be declared worthless. People involved in socially evil practices generally involve in social evil practices tend to accumulate their wealth in cash.

With the process of a cashless economy coming into effect, this accumulated cash will be useless due to the note ban. If people invest money in the bank, the government will question them about that particular income source.

Fewer Issues of Taxation.
A cashless economy will translate to a digital economy which means Financial Technology (FINTECH) will play a vital role in financial and economic development.

The illegal non-payment or under-payment of taxes, usually by deliberately making a false declaration or no declaration to tax authorities – such as by declaring less income, profits, or gains than the amounts earned, or by overstating deductions will be reduced drastically because every payment made in the system through any Fintech platform will be easily tracked and trace. More people will be employed at superstores and other pay points because there will be multiple points of sale (P.O.S.) even in our local farmers markets.

Other benefits include; Limited Cash Fraud, Effortless Payment, and Easy International Payment.

Not to forget some of the CONS of a Cashless Economy; Low Literacy Rate, Chances of Economic disparity, Cybercrime, overspending, identification fraud, and others but all of these can be handled or brought to the barest minimum by a strong political will, uncompromised institutional framework, proper Fintech system that is being managed and monitored by relevant regulatory and anti-grafts agencies in the country.

Today if you visit china, there is a strong chance that you will see people paying for things using facial recognition on their phones while others just sweep their cards on the POS machine at a go without a pin. Nigeria should not just follow the rest of the developed and industrialized economies of the world but match toe-to-toe with China and India’s footsteps towards a cashless economy. Therefore, a cashless economic Policy should be embraced by all if we expect any clear and meaningful departure from the past.

Ogakwu Julius Ogbaji is an upcoming Energy and Finance Economist whose research interests cut across sustainable community development, Macroeconomic Policies, Political Economy, and sustainable energy.

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“Happy Ending”: Why this Nigerian indie film focuses on male rape

Mon Dec 12 , 2022
Share on Facebook Tweet it Pin it Email A 2020 research by The Conversation showed that over 90% of reported rape victims in two major Nigerian newspapers were women. While not a conclusive picture of rape in Nigeria, the research is evidence that there are very few reported cases of male rape in Nigeria. This new film delves into why. By: SAMUEL BANJOKO Ogun, Nigeria (Minority Africa) — A friend casually mentioning the harassment massage therapists face led Godwin Harrison to start working on the script of Happy Ending in 2020. The movie set out to tell a story of how power dynamics and sexualization, despite professionalism, lead to harassment for massage therapists. But Happy Ending does more than that; it touches on another often avoided subject: male rape. “I wanted to tell a story mostly on the ills massage therapists face,” Harrison says. “They go for a session, and the next thing, the client already has this mentality that they have to give him or her a happy ending. That was the initial concept. But when I started writing the script in 2021,  [it] took me on a journey which led me to male rape.”  A 28-year-old filmmaker, who is based in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, Harrison sees films as advocacy. “While I was still in the [regular] film industry, I noticed that there were certain stories that most producers didn’t want to take up because they believed it would not yield profits,” he says. “I tried to pitch my idea to people about stories we’ve never heard, like LGBTQ stories, that are not common on-screen, but I received several rejections.” But rejection didn’t stop Harrison. In 2019, he gathered his team and founded Hug Media Concepts to tell stories that are not visible to society. Since then, they have released five films exploring various topics, from female circumcision to sexual identity to finding love as a queer person and hookup culture. The latest of which is Happy Ending. “Happy Ending is a story of two rape survivors (a gay man and a heterosexual woman) who bond after realizing they shared something in common. However, fate plays a trick on them “when their perpetrator walks back into their lives,” says 24-years-old Alice Ishaya, a Theatre Art student who plays one of the lead roles in the film.  “Happy Ending  [addresses] the trauma rape survivors go through, irrespective of gender and sexual orientation.”  The film follows  the lives  of Tena Zandin (played by Prince Barnabas) and Ladi (played by Alice Ishaya), two massage therapists who were sexually abused by Yuri (played by Darego Ekine) and their experience finding justice. “Happy Ending talks about male rape in our society and society’s veil of silence on male rape victims,” Harrison says. “It is the story of a young man who in his modeling days was drugged and gang-raped by his sponsor.  This is actually inspired by a true life story that happened in Awka in 2018.”  The story Harrison talks about is of a friend whose experience Harrison believes drove him to suicide. Harrison’s friend, who was a runway model in Anambra State in southeastern Nigeria, had been raped by a gay man whose advances he had rejected. The boy had found it difficult to open up to anyone, which led him to commit suicide. A 2020 research by The Conversation showed that over 90% of reported rape victims in two major Nigerian newspapers were women. While not a conclusive picture of rape in Nigeria, the research is evidence that there are very few reported cases of male rape in Nigeria. Happy Ending explores why. “The story is not new to me because I am already in an industry where what happened in the movie is happening right now,” says Darego, who models alongside acting. “When I started modeling, I had a near experience of being touched to hit a runway. It happened. I had one or two friends that had to do stuff to get on a runway, but nothing came out of it.”  Darego also explains why he thinks harassment is so common. “Being beautiful attracts a lot of things; lust and pleasure. I don’t blame the beautifully bodied and faced ones, they didn’t create themselves, but it happens. I’ve been harassed several times by [women] and [men]. I know how to handle such cases – of being harassed. Being good-looking is not your fault, but men would always want to have a taste of it.” While Darego has come to understand getting harassed is not the victims’ fault, most victims do not get to understand this and cannot open up for various reasons. Darego believes rejection and stigmatization play a significant role in why victims stay silent.  “There are two things in place – rejection and stigmatization,” he says. “Most people don’t want to feel pitied, even if the victim isn’t rejected after coming out about molestation or rape. If you come to my show, I’d want to give you a slot to get on the runway, but when you come up on stage, people would start looking with pity, ‘Aww, she got raped’ [or] ‘He got molested.’ Getting pitied and having to answer questions like, ‘Someone that just got raped to come and wear my clothes?’  “Even though people are learning to protect and sympathize with victims, [they] may want to sympathize with you all the time and encourage you to pull your craft, but they won’t want to stop talking about how you were raped. They won’t want to stop talking about how you were victimized. Even when you’re having a good time with your friends, they might bring it up. They won’t stop bringing it up, and for how long? It’ll cause you to start judging yourself, rejecting yourself, which can lead to depression, drug use, and suicide.” For male victims, getting raped and sexually harassed comes with more than being rejected and stigmatized. They rarely get support or sympathy. Instead, their masculinity is questioned, along with the belief that men can’t be raped. It is a belief so prevalent in Nigerian society that up until 2020, the Nigerian constitution did not recognize men as victims of rape. Despite the new legislation, most male victims are still unwilling to speak out or seek justice. Prince Barnabas, who is also a masseuse, has been sexually abused. “If you as a guy come out to say, ’I was raped,’ the first question you’d get asked is who raped you,” he says. “If you say a lady raped you, the way people would react is like, ’She raped you? It’s not possible.’ People feel like, as a guy, there’s no way you wouldn’t be in charge; you’re supposed to be in control, so how on earth did you get raped? It takes people with a bold mindset to come out and stand on their ground regardless of what has happened to tell their stories still.” Giving more insight into the lead characters, Darego says, “It’s a movie that I feel will dig out a lot of things. I play Yuri, where I have to keep my business moving; I could share the bed with anybody as long as it brings money and keeps my business going. So I will not let someone come into my business and be all righteous and bring my business down.  Tena Zandin is struggling to make a living and gets molested, and even when he shouts about his victimization, he is not seen or heard.  “The same thing happens to Ladi, and it gets to a point where she gets used to being raped and sexually [assaulted] because even if she says a thing about it, it will not move a muscle. It’s just the unprivileged that were shouting and talking on her behalf, but the privileged would see it as she just wants attention, and for the male victim, they’ll see it as someone that just wants to be seen.” In Nigeria, despite laws and increasing awareness of sexual harassment, victims rarely ever get justice. A report by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) shows that between 2019  and 2020, there were only 32 rape convictions despite over 700 reported cases. With Happy Ending set to have its first private screening at the OUT Film Festival in Kenya between November  17, 2022 and November 19, 2022, Alice hopes ”more rape victims would be healed from their trauma and possibly voice out and that there would be more visibility to rape survivors be it male or female, queer or straight.” Edited/Reviewed by Caleb Okereke, Cassandra Roxburgh, and Uzoma Ihejirika.   This story was first published in Minority Africa and appears with permission in this publication.  Share on Facebook Tweet it Pin it Email Post Views: 108

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