Cash is dirty and it is also risky. Besides robbers that come for cash, cash carries bacteria. Bacteria is one of the reasons why we fall sick.
Studies have piled up in recent years describing exactly how filthy—specifically how bacteria-laden—our Naira, and kobo can be. The result has been a systemic risk to our health whenever our money changes hands.
That public health risk may bolster the argument for considering a cashless society. For reasons that have more to do with reining in crime and promoting economic policy than public health, the shift is on in Nigeria. However, the pace has not been excellent.
The BVN put a pedal in that trajectory as more people think government can track their financial transactions. So, they still like to use cash and in some cases pay the fines associated with cashed transactions. Besides, the electronic payment systems and non-cash ecosystems are still evolving to support a truly based cashless society in Nigeria.
We think government has to look at the public sector aspect of holding and using cash – with that, we do think the move will be faster. People are killed on the suspicion of having cash. In a Nigerian society with zero cash, that risk is taken out.
When there is no cash, we will have lesser robberies for cash. Also, bacteria will be curtailed and that is a big score for Public Heath.