We are not matured for cashless policy – Chinwe Okanya

Chinwe Okanya

A businessman, Chinwe Okanya has assessed the ongoing cashless policy of CBN and came up with the position that Nigeria is not matured for the policy. Excerpts:

Introduce yourself sir.

I am Mr. Chinwe Okanya of Chinwe Prince Group.

How do you see the cashless policy?

I don’t think I have much to say because we are not matured for it. That’s first one. And even the that introduced it are not prepared. We do not even know the game they are playing.
You can image they said the old notes would go; two, five hundred and one thousand. All of a sudden the President said the two hundred naira note would be reintroduced. Now five hundred and one thousand are reintroduced, which means there is a they are playing there. And I am just telling you that a lot of people have suffered.
As you see me now, I am buying money with money. Every day we are asking how much is naira in the market; not dollars, in Nigeria.
I don’t think it has happened in any country – where their citizens are buying their currency. And somebody is sitting as president and CBN governor. Only them know the game they are playing.
We have suffered enough in this country.

How has this impacted on your business?

It has not impacted anything. Do you know that people will come and buy anything and he would be forced to go and use POS, and whenever it declined – like last week somebody came to buy something. I am into building materials. I calculated the money, he brought out his ATM card, we put it into POS machine, it declined and he was debited.
He started asking me what is he going to tell his client. He didn’t buy the materials to do the work or should he go back? And the worst is that you can’t even enter inside bank. They will frustrate you till eternity.
Like, I personally have gone to the bank to retrieve over thirty something thousand naira from First Bank. I went to the bank more than the times. Whenever you go, they say, seven days. Till now I have left the money. They will frustrate you to forget about the money.
I am just thinking of how much people will loose on this. You will see somebody go to the bank, not that he is looking for loan – his hard earned money, he cannot access it and you are dying of hunger.
We are not matured for this cashless policy. There is something they are supposed to have done before now, but they just woke up and did it.

So how has it affected businesses?

Everything is wrong. This a woman selling food in our shop, she has stopped selling because all the transfers they did to her, she didn’t get the money.
People that did POS, it didn’t work. She said she went to the bank and did not see any money. How can she go and buy another food stuff?
It has affected everybody. Everybody is suffering, even the high and the mighty – everybody is suffering. We are not matured for this.

Do you have any solution to that?

I don’t think I have. There are experts in those fields. We have been hearing them advising them. Just like what I said before, we are not matured for this suffering.
So, if we are going cashless, it would be gradually. You make this one available, when it circulates, you continue with what you are doing. But you just stopped, it doesn’t work that way.
I don’t have any preferred solution. There are experts in that field that have been preferring solutions but the CBN governor don’t want to hear because I know they must have enough cash in their houses to settle their house needs. If they can come and queue in the bank as we are doing, they would reverse this.

As a business person what advice do you have for other business persons so that they don’t continually loose money?

The only advice there is that they are saying that it has come to stay. Everyone should go POS, that is the easiest way, because whenever the thing approves, the money is in your account. If you are waiting for transfer, a lot of things were witnessed before.
Somebody will transfer money to you and it will not come. Somebody will give you debit and it will not come. But anything you did with POS and it writes approved, it will come. That’s the best way to safeguard yourself and your money.


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