Naira scarcity: CBN lacks solution to crisis, NECA reveals

Naira notes protest

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association has said the Central Bank of Nigeria does not understand the naira crisis challenges, pointing out that the apex bank appears not have a solution to the economic problems caused by the naira redesign policy.

In a statement on Sunday, the Director-General of NECA, Mr Wale Oyerinde, said that the situation had allowed speculators and economic saboteurs to have a field day at the expense of legitimate businesses and the economy.

“Thus far, it does not seem that the CBN understands the challenges, nor have solutions to the economic issues, thereby allowing speculators and economic saboteurs to have a field day at the expense of legitimate businesses and the economy,” Oyerinde said.

Oyerinde said for a key monetary policy like the naira design, the apex bank was expected to have carried out a detailed analysis and simulation of likely social and economic challenges that might arise and provide definitive response to them.

He added that the value chain in the formal and informal sector with over N10bn cash transaction daily was almost being destroyed with consequences for employment, business sustainability and national development.

The statement read in part, “In the last few weeks, with the cash squeeze and the purchasing ability of Nigerians greatly impaired by the shameless implementation of the policy, the economy has witnessed a significant bashing with report stating that the real sector witnessed about 40 per cent drop in productive activities. As the cash crush continues, thousands of productive hours are lost daily on queues by employees and many cannot even get to work.”

Oyerinde however said that while the CBN’s desire for a cashless economy was commendable, it should not, in the process exclude those it intended to include.

He explained, “We urge that critical and immediate effort should be made to improve or upgrade alternative routes to cash, thereby ensuring seamless transactions before going digital. The series of actions being taken by the CBN now in the form of having agent naira swap, etc are afterthoughts, after the reality of resistant by Nigerians. It is callous to deprive citizens of the new naira notes after cajoling them to deposit the old ones in the banks.”