Naira scarcity: Tinubu tasks CBN on ‘immediate relief’ for Nigerians
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has suggested steps the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) could take to bring “immediate relief” to Nigerians suffering ongoing naira scarcity.
In a personally signed statement, yesterday, Tinubu maintained that he and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, “do not have anything against the CBN naira redesign and cashless policy in principle.”
He said: “We are, however, only concerned about its disruptive implementation and the hardship it has brought on the generality of our people who currently can’t access their hard-earned money to meet obligations and the attendant consequences on the informal sector, where majority operate.”
Tinubu said: “Following the advice of the Council of States, the CBN should announce that the old and new naira notes (especially the non-withdrawn notes and coins) will co-exist as legal tender for the next 12 months to follow examples of countries that have successfully implemented similar monetary policy. This will immediately remove growing tension in the country, eliminate panic reactions by the populace and allow time to scale up infrastructural gaps around alternative payment options to cash.
“We advise the immediate suspension of associated charges on online transactions and bank transfers and payments via PoS, until the current crisis is fully resolved. This cost should be considered a rollout expense by the CBN to incentivise the envisaged shift to alternative transaction channels, for both the financial services consuming public and those in charge of implementing the scale-up programme.
“Mobilise all Money Deposit Banks, payment platforms to show clear commitment and timelines on expanding their infrastructure and support services.
“Bring in Fintech companies with capabilities into currency swap programme for the next 90 days to help decongest banking halls and ATM points where people line up for hours.
“The Central Bank and other relevant MDA’s should form an Inter-Agency Action Committee for immediate oversight over the cash supply gaps from the Nigerian Security and Minting Company and deal with issues around capabilities and turn around time to meet the needs of the informal sector and unbanked people.
“The CBN, National Orientation Agency and Ministry of Information, state and local councils with their relevant organs in both the public and private sectors should commence a major public enlightenment and sensitisation campaign to further educate and empower our people on the new naira and cashless policy for better understanding and mainstream adoption.”