Digital Economy Innovation

Going Cashless: Why the Nigerian Railway System Needs to Follow Suit

As the government promotes its cashless policy, it is puzzling why the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), the government-owned enterprise with the exclusive right to operate railways in Nigeria, still insists on cash payments for certain routes (Lagos/Ibadan). The move to cashless transactions is necessary to ensure modern, convenient, and secure payment methods for the citizens, as well as the developmental advantages of transparency and efficiency that comes with going cashless. Systems fit for the digital era.

@iamjidaw #cashlesseconomy in #Nigeria But Lagos Ibadan train services still cash based #iamjidaw #jidaw #digitaleconomy #Africa ♬ original sound – jidaw

The continued use of cash by the NRC sends a mixed message to the populace, which can undermine the government’s active promotion of a cashless economy.

This policy misalignment leads to confusion, inefficiency, and wasted resources, which are counterproductive to the government’s overall objectives. Moreover, this raises questions about the government’s commitment to the cashless cause.

Although there may be challenges in implementing a cashless payment system, such as unreliable internet or mobile network coverage in certain areas, the NRC should have the infrastructure and technical capability to implement cashless payments for all their routes.

Already more people are embracing cashless payment methods; the informal economy is getting on board. It’s unlikely that rail customers will resist this change.

Government policies must be aligned to ensure that resources are effectively and efficiently used to achieve the government’s objectives. It is crucial that the government agencies, such as the NRC, align their policies and messaging with the government’s cashless objectives to build trust and confidence in the government’s efforts to promote a cashless economy and modernize the country’s payment systems.

It is essential to ensure that the benefits of the cashless policy are realized by the nation and all its citizens. The railway system is important infrastructure for transportation of goods and people. The entire railway system should go cashless.

Jide Awe

founder, Jidaw