The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cashless Policy highlighted at meeting of world economic leaders
Lagos, Nigeria – 30 October 2012 – The implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Cashless Policy was presented by MasterCard Worldwide as a best practice case study at the Africa investor-World Bank Group Africa CEO Investment Climate Summit held in Tokyo, Japan earlier in October.
The Summit included a panel discussion led by MasterCard Worldwide executives on its work across Africa, with specific attention placed on its strategy to support Cashless Nigeria. The presentation was part of a series of events convened for influential global business and government leaders to assess the factors influencing Africa’s investment climate at the World Bank Annual Meetings.
Delegates at the Summit included the vice presidents of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, along with African business leaders, Ministers of Finance, Central Bank governors and international investors. These dignitaries were gathered in Tokyo for the World Bank Annual Meetings, which served to discuss international economic and financial developments and policies to strengthen inclusive economic growth and help countries overcome poverty.
Panel members from MasterCard included Daniel Monehin, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa; OmokehindeOjumuyide, Country Manager, West Africa; and Shaun Rashid, Head of Public Policy, Middle East and Africa. They were joined by FolashodunAdebisiShonubi, the Managing Director ofNigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBBS) and Tim Tuner, Director, Private Sector and Microfinance, African Development Bank, who chaired the panel discussion.
“It gave us the chance to show the world how Nigeria is taking the lead in moving towards a cash-less economy,” said Ojomuyide. “The Summit gave MasterCard the opportunity to highlight the synergies between its vision of a world beyond cash, and the CBN’s goal of leading the Nigerian economy towards the benefits of cashless electronic payments.”
The CBN’s Cashless Policy was introduced to drive development and modernization of Nigeria’s payment system, because an efficient and modern payment system is positively correlated with economic growth, and best able to avoid the pitfalls of cash. Cash facilitates inefficiency, corruption, money laundering and fraud, notedMonehin during the panel discussion.
Cashless Nigeria seeks to reduce the cost of banking services, and to drive financial inclusion by providing more efficient transaction options for all Nigerians. Reducing the amount of cash in the economy will also limit the money that is circulated in the informal economy, a fact that negatively impacts the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation and encouraging economic growth.
The importance of public-private collaborations in driving growth in Africa was highlighted in the panel by Shaun Rashid, head of public policy, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, “Our close collaboration with the CBN, and with other stakeholders in Nigeria, has truly proved that collaboration between public and private sector organizations are the key to changing consumer behavior in any market.”
Rashid continued, “Initially we advised the CBN during its policy formation phase, offering insights and sharing information that would help create the smoothest possible transition to creating a cash-liteeconomy. As the policy has matured, MasterCard has engaged with stakeholders across the economy, including financial institutions and merchants, to increase awareness of the benefits of the CBN’s goals.
“Globally, we have noticed that there is a significant alignment in priorities between MasterCard and global policy makers on making payments safer, more efficient and reliable,” adds Rashid. “This was particularly evident in the discussions at the African investor Summit, where delegates resoundingly endorsed the need for payment technology service providers, like MasterCard, to partner with and educate governments and policy makers to ensure that the desired benefits do ultimately emerge in a particular market.”
Omokehinde Ojomuyide provided tangible examples of the MasterCard strategy in action in Nigeria. She highlighted the need of working closely with all stakeholders including banks, retailers and businesses to achieve the countries cashless goals. “Our business strategy in Nigeria is multi-faceted.We are working closely with the financial institutions and the business sector to better understand challenges facing the country in order for tailor-made payment solutions to be introduced. We also realize the importance of working more closely with retailers and businesses to promote acceptance and to communicate the benefits of electronic payments directly to Nigerian citizens.
“It was a proud moment for the entire MasterCard team to be in a position to highlight the successes of our local Nigeria strategy in supporting Cashless Nigeria,” she said.“Our long standing relationship with the Central Bank of Nigeria and other key stakeholders has solidified our position in the local market. We look forward to continuing our work in Nigeria and mirroring our successes across Africa to drive innovation in the payments industry and making Africa a more financially inclusive economy.”