The Controversy over the Currency Swap between the House of Representatives and the Central Bank of Nigeria is not looking at the bigger picture in the Whole issue which is Financial Inclusion.
Mr Omoruyi Edoigiawerie, Legal Practitioner and Public affairs Commentator disclosed this while reacting to the insistence of the House of Representatives on the extension of the Currency Swap deadline beyond the 10th of February announced by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Mr Edoigiawerie said the issue that should be generating Controversy is that of Financial inclusion with available Data showing that less than 40 percent of Nigerians have access to Banking services.
He made special reference to the people who live in rural areas and disadvantaged communities especially those in the throes of insecurity.
He disclosed that the issue should not be about Extending the Currency swap deadline to June 30th but putting measures in place to ensure Financial inclusion so that people will not suffer hardship due to the Policy.
Mr Edoigiawerie said the two parties should be working together to ensure Financial inclusion for disadvantaged people and not bickering only over the issue of deadline for Currency Swap without necessary measures put in place to address fundamental issues.
He also commended the Nigerian Bar Association whose intervention through an Open Letter by Its President, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) that led to the addition of the condition for Nigerians to deposit their old notes to the Central Bank of Nigeria after the expiration of the deadline.
Going Further, He said there are communities across the Country without Automated Teller Machines, Banks or even Point of Sales Operators asking how will they be able to access banking services or get the new notes.
He said between 2010 and 2022, the percentage increase of Nigerians who have access to banking services are just 9 percent a figure he described as abysmal and dangerous for Financial Inclusion.
He said the current debate is not centred around the right conversation.
He said Financial Exclusion is a bigger monster than just the extension currently the main issue of debate.
He said the Cashless Policy as it is today if implemented will impoverish many people and also promote Financial Exclusion by sending PoS operators out of Business.
CONTROVERSY OVER CURRENCY SWAP WITH REPS NEEDLESS -OSHOMA
The controversy arising from the implementation of the Cashless Policy of the Central Bank of Nigerian and Currency Swap between the House of Representatives is nothing but an ego Trip on the part of the Dramatis Personae.
Legal Practitioner and Public Affairs and Policy Analyst, Liborous Oshoma, disclosed this while speaking to TVC News Breakfast Show on Tuesday Morning on the controversy that has also greeted the 10 day extension granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Mr Oshoma while analysing the issues around the Controversy said the Central Bank of Nigeria has the statutory responsibility to make Monetary Policies and protect the nations’ Legal Tender While the members of the House have the pulse of the people.
He said the CBN believes it has the right to make Monetary Policies and issue legal tender and that it has given enough notice to the people to comply but added that the House of Reps members as representatives of the people who know what goes with the people more than the CBN.
He disclosed that the argument of the members of the House of Representatives is that People are complaining that the Old notes should still be in use until the new notes are in sufficient enough quantity in circulation before the old ones cease to be legal tender.
He said the claims by the Central Bank of Nigeria that the notes are in circulation has to be backed by data that shows that is the case.
He added that once this data shows that the new notes are in circulation sufficiently then it can withdraw the old notes.
He disclosed that available indices clearly shows that the Currency Swap has failed for now and the deadline should be extended and reappraised for proper and better implementation.
According to him, the stand by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it is implementing the Policy to thwart rigging or Vote buying is laughable with the currency ion sale at parties across several parts of the Country.
He also expressed worry that many are clapping for the Bank on the issue of the Currency Swap.
He added that the main grouse of the members of the House of Representatives is the non availability of the notes to the regular users has made it impossible to defend the Policy.
Going further he said members of the House will also see any decision made by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, from the prism of partisanship since he had been involved in the Presidential race on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
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