Stamp duty threatens government’s cashless, financial inclusion drive

• Nigerians opt for cash transactions
• Merchants, agents express frustration

More Nigerians are now shunning transactions via Point of Sales (PoS) terminals; owing to the implementation of a ₦50 additional charge by merchants, as imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter- Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). The CBN described the new service levy as Stamp Duty Charge.
The Guardian investigations showed that customers now avoid ePayment platform in preference for cash deals, thereby throwing a big spanner in the Federal Government’s financial inclusion drive and in particular, the CBN’s cashless policy.
Customers, who previously cheered CBN’s decision to infuse the policy, saying it would eliminate the risk of carrying cash and reduce the cost of printing Naira notes, have criticised the move to collect stamp duty charges on PoS transactions.
It must also be mentioned that other payment channels, including the automated teller machines (ATMs), Instant Transfers, Online Banking, and Mobile Banking are still seriously challenged. Already, financial transactions are replete with all manners of excess charges by the banks and merchants, even when services are not delivered as and when due.

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