The Vision 20:2020 Economic Transformation Blueprint was conceptualized by the Yar’adua’s administration to make Nigeria among the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020. The goal, when achieved, will boost the nation’s momentum in global economic decisions as well as solidify the country’s leadership role in the continent.
Although after the nation’s independence in 1960, a lot of policies and programs has been drawn up and started but they have ended up attaining little or insignificant proportion of its setouts goals and objectives.
However, the then administration in view of making the Vision 20:2020 a visible reality, the agenda was sectioned into various organs which also adopted the Cashless Policy to aid the actualization of the Vision 20:2020. The organs and their assigned functions among others include:
National Steering committee
This organ of the policy is assigned the duty of putting in play the Vision’s strategic plan. The 70-member committee which consists of both private and public sector players are also assigned with the role of ensuring that the actions of key players align with the mapped out contributions to the Vision 2020.
National Council Organ / Office of the Chairman
The President holds the leadership mantle of this organ of the Vision 20:2020. The simple function of this organ of the policy is to provide a leadership role and constantly provide a line of thought which encompasses the ideas behind the program. And also galvanize developmental strides in the country.
Economic Oversight Organ
This is headed by the National Council and National Steering Committee members of the policy. Their overall view is providing important links and feedbacks from both groups in the course of the policy implementation.
National Technical Organ
Just as the name implies, the National Technical section consists of not more than 25 public and private sector specialists. These specialists are assigned with the duty of research works and specific duties to desired data needed for the functional Organ’s report.
Stakeholder Development Committee
This section of the organ consists of Federal Ministries, Agencies, Institutions, and other key stakeholders. The stakeholders involved are expected to work differently but for the whole and promulgate useful information that will offer succor to the Vision 20:2020.
Cashless Policy as it affects Vision 20:2020
The benevolent efforts of the Vision 2020 Organs, especially the Economic Oversight Organ, gave birth to the idea of a cashless economy. The cashless policy which is a vital policy in obtaining a cashless economy was adopted in 2012 by the then CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido.
The cashless policy was simply adopted to crack the traditional barriers holding the financial capacity of most Nigerians. The idea of cashless policy is to enable transactions to be made without carrying physical cash, but rather with the aid of electronic transfer of funds, credit cards or debit card payment.
With so many economic policies adopted by the previous government as ‘a spotlight on public lips and concern of successive administrations’, the policy in Nigeria was first implemented in Lagos state and later extended to Anambra, Rivers, Ogun Abia, Kano, and Abuja by 1st of July 2013. The policy after being experimented in these states was gradually being adopted by other states.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which is the apex bank in Nigeria announced its quest to make the policy a nationwide scheme by October 2017. Though the whole idea behind the adoption of the cashless policy was to increase economic development and promote economic growth, some schools of thoughts are of the opinion that the policy “in Nigeria” will definitely not attain its mapped out goals and objectives in the Vision 20:2020.
Positive Roles of Cashless Policy in Vision 20:2020
The adoption of cashless policy has played a tremendous part in positioning Nigeria’s economy as the first in Africa over time, and 27th worldwide, i.e seven places away from the vision. It has also helped in placing Nigeria among the fastest growing economy globally despite the country’s cumbersome internal challenges. The roles played by cashless policy includes:
The cashless policy has helped to improve savings and discourage unnecessary expenses. Part of the Vision 20:2020 goals is stimulating a sustainable economy to launch the nation into the top 20 economies in the world and improved savings will definitely go a long way to make the goal a reality.
Fast and Stress-free Transaction:
It has made financial transaction processes faster and stress-free. As numerous business transactions can be done within a twinkle of an eye. With cashless policy, Nigerians now prefer having their mobile phones closer than their purse or wallets. This has in due time made the adoption of new wireless cashless technologies faster and invariably encouraging the nation’s economy.
The cashless policy has helped to improve hygiene as it has drastically reduced the carriage of either coins, notes or both. These money forms when carried around usually help in spreading germs. And so, cashless policy in this regard is actually playing a positive role towards health improvement of Nigerians.
Increasing Transparency and Accountability:
The cashless policy has to a large extent encouraged transparency and accountability as customers can keep track of their financial transaction with the bank. The policy in this regards also helps the government to keep track of the tax base as all transactions in the economy can be monitored and traced.
Reducing Cash Transfer Risks:
The cashless policy in the Vision 20:2020 helps in simplifying the risks and shortages of cash collections especially in cases with the transfer of multiple cash payments. This, however, saves time and stress in transactions that involve multiple financial transfers.
Boost Plow-back Financial Ratio:
Cashless policy help reduce the cost associated with having to use expensive security cars to transport a huge amount of money. The supposedly ‘extra-cost’ that was supposed to be used in both purchasing vehicles and other logistics involved in the transportation of the large sum, will be plowed back to the economy. If both the private and public sector insists on using electronic means in transacting financial transactions, it will boost plow back of cash.
Encouraged National Security:
The era of having to carry cash in the pocket that encourages theft is gradually coming to an end. It’s no doubt that the cashless policy in Nigeria has immensely brought to minimal the rate of robbery in the nation. Reduced crime lowers the cost which government incurs in apprehending the perpetrators. And when crime reduces in an economy, it’s a plus to national security.
Improving Sectoral Planning:
Cashless policy in the vision 20:2020 has also helped in sectoral planning as less cash in an economy means to increase data collection. Using these data gathered as a result of a cashless economy, government parastatals can identify and predict the nation’s financial activities and proffer adequate sectorial planning like transportation, housing, energy management, et cetera which definitely adds to economic growth.
Cashless Policy and its indicators have played great roles in actualizing the prospect of Vision20:2020. The prospects of the Vision 20:2020 which the cashless policy is positively influencing among others includes:
- Stimulating sustainable economy to position the country’s economy among the top 20 economies in the world before 2020.
- Impacting meaningful and significant changes in the livelihood of all Nigerians by 2020.
- Providing suitable infrastructural facilities and Food security by 2020.
- Improve the nation’s industrialized and technological sector to advance height by 2020.
- Providing quality education and sustainable health care system by 2020. Et cetera.
The cashless policy, for me, is playing a huge part in making the Vision 20:2020 a reality but not without its shortcomings. Short-comings which has prevented the cashless policy to attain 100% of its intended goal among others are:
- Inadequate power supply
- Excessive bank charges on electronics machines like ATMs, POS, etc.
- High illiteracy level in the country especially in the area of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
- Inadequate sensitization on the uses and benefits of cashless policy
- The cash limits do not favor those whose daily financial transactions are beyond cash limit.
In conclusion, to actualize the lofty dream of Vision 20:2020, Nigeria’s GDP per capita must grow at an incalculable rate. The main impact of cashless policy in any economy is to help reduce the risk associated with carrying cash. A role which it has, to a certain percentage, achieved in Nigeria with regards to the Vision 20:20.
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