In a larger cash driven economy like Nigeria, a shortfall in the supply of naira would have a ripple effect on key players. Economic experts say the total amount of local currency in circulation shrunk from 3.23 trillion naira at the end of October 2022 to 1.54 trillion naira as at 31st of January 2023.
This follows an aggressive redesign of the 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes. Small businesses are being targeted by what some believe is a policy spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, amid persistent inflation and high energy costs.
Speaking on the issue on Journalists’ Hangout, Adewale Adeoye, Executive Director of Journalists For Democratic Rights (JODER), said that no business enterprise does not have a complaint or a story to tell, but that the situation could have been handled better.
According to him, what has occurred is economic sabotage, which has affected economic projections and has been exacerbated by fuel scarcity.
In addition, veteran journalist Babajide Kolade-Otitiju stated that the reason the country does not have enough currency is because of the CBN’s aggressive naira confiscation policy which will naturally affect everyone.
He noted that CBN is an agency that knows that Nigeria does not have up to 30,000 ATMs in galleries.
CBN knows that out of 774 local governments in Nigeria, more than 400 do
not have Banks yet they were taking decisions that naturally will hurt businesses and people.
The current inflationary rate should be higher than what was projected.
When this was done in India in 2016, even though we gave people more time than the CBN was willing to give us, the economy suffered, and small businesses suffered.
collapsed. India was unable to recover two years later.
We never copy things that are good enough; we only copy things that are excellent. We will not be where we are today if we copy good things from the rest of the world.
“Because of the cash crunch, many businesses went bankrupt. The others were simply waiting to see what would happen.
“The impact will be felt by Nigerians and businesses, and people will naturally respond”.
Still reacting, Mr Adeoye stated that the President must not speak because the Supreme Court has spoken and that the CBN must obey because there is no other option.
Mr. Otitoju went on to say that the President is not bigger than the Supreme Court and that he is obligated to follow the Supreme Court’s decision whether it is favorable to him or not.
“Nigerians aren’t interested in the President’s apology because they’ve been through too much pain.”