ActionAid seeks review of naira redesign
•As Akerele asks CBN to stop politicising monetary policy
Worried by the sufferings of millions of Nigerians, ActionAid Nigeria has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the implementation of the naira redesign to give the policy a human face.
It observed that implementing the same policy across the country without taking into consideration the peculiarities of the different regions is unacceptable.
The organisation stated this during the commemoration of the World Day of Social Justice held at Leleyi Village, Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It called on the CBN to, as a matter of urgency, adopt cash swaps in remote localities through CBN-engaged money agents and microfinance banks. This, he said, would increase access to the new notes in financially-excluded communities.
The Country Director, Ene Obi, who was represented by the Head of Partnerships and Local Rights Programme, Suweiba Yakubu-Jibrin, urged the apex bank to work with banks and internet service providers to resolve the lingering hiccups affecting digital payment and arbitrary charges imposed on customers.
Obi urged the CBN to support rural community-dwellers to onboard the financial system and encourage the use of mobile banking channels such as USSD.
ActionAid Nigeria also called on the Federal Government to increase the volume of money in circulation.
Meanwhile, the Country Director of Policy House International, Taiwo Akerele, has urged Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to stop politicising monetary policy.
While speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the policy analyst wondered why the government is in a hurry to change the naira notes, undermining the role of the informal sector and a large number of unbanked people.
Akerele said: “It is about economy management; let us be careful in politicising economic issues. You don’t rush the implementation of monetary policy; you have to give enough time. This is a largely informal economy that requires implementation in phases.”
“You cannot, because you want to frustrate a particular political party or individual, come up with a policy that affects everybody negatively. If it is alleged that any of the presidential candidates has stashed money illegally, what is the role of the security agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)?
“You cannot change currency because you want to punish an individual. We know the history of currency changes all over the world. It does not happen this way.”