Businesses and the daily lives of Nigerians have been badly affected by the worsening scarcity of old and new naira notes across the country.
The scarcity of the naira which has persisted for weeks is adversely affecting the living conditions of Nigerians and small business operators
daily Nigerians are thronging banking Halls to register their anger and demand for their money, despite some resorting to unconventional means like stripping naked.
Both old and new naira notes remain elusive, small business operators are lamenting low patronage as many that would have patronized them are now moving to malls where they can use their debit cards.
Speaking on TVCBreakfast, Strategy Consultant Dipo Oyewole said Nigerians are suffering unnecessarily.
According to him, the CBN has been around for a very long time and one would expect that a lot of experience would have been brought to play.
He stated that whatever the motives for this are, whether political or not, they must realise that the ones bearing the brunt of this are ordinary Nigerians.
“We’ve seen footage of people throwing fists in Banks people, stripping nude in Banks, people having to resort to fists, depriving themselves of their human dignity to have access to their own hard earned money, it doesn’t make any sense”.
Mr Oyewole said cases of sabotage have been seen but this cannot be compared to the volume of cash that has been released to the banks.
He added that people are frustrated and stranded in addition to battling fuel crisis for over two months with no end in sight.
This has grounded a lot of businesses and people are at the receiving end.
Banking apps have also been under a lot of strain as a result of the transfers, and have been nearly crashing for a few days now.
“We’re not saying don’t do cashless policy, what we are saying is, if a policy is good, it works everywhere else, you need to come to your own clients to see how you can make it work”.
A simple data analysis would have gone a long way to reducing what we are currently facing now.
Banks staff are also stressed and under a lot of pressure, saying CBN is not giving them enough cash.
Mr Oyewole who noted that the vision for cashless policy is a good one but not something that can be jumped into, “you have to ease into it.”
“What we’re getting to see is every other day because of political pressure and social pressure, different directions are coming out from CBN practically every day”.
Mr Oyewole added that looking at the configuration of Nigeria and what is currently happening, the country is not ripe for a cashless policy.
“In order to get the support of the individuals who will be affected by a policy or strategy, it is necessary to craft a narrative around it.
“We need to understand that right now the strategy is not working.
“There are certain communities in Nigeria that are not aware of the naira redesign let alone swap since there is not enough awareness”.
Speaking further, Mr Oyewole noted that the three months deadline given by the CBN was not realistic.
Whether Nigerians are given three or nine months, we are still going to have the fire brigade, however, at nine months, a lot of grounds would have been covered.
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