Old Naira Notes – What CBN Policy Did To Abuja Residents
- Mixed reactions have continued to trail the Central Bank of Nigeria’s reintroduction of the new naira notes
- This is as workers and residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, lament bitterly over the struggle of getting the old and new naira notes for use
- However, they urged the CBN’s management to give commercial banks access to both the old and new naira notes as soon as possible.
Following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy and the redesign of the Naira notes, it has been difficult for the majority of Nigerians in recent months.
Nigerians had complained about the shortage of Naira notes, saying it was getting harder by the day and impeding both their economic and daily activities, despite the initial deadline being extended and allowing the 200 Naira notes to circulate alongside the new notes introduced by the CBN.
Most Nigerians, particularly market women and children without bank accounts, were forced to deal with the difficulties of conducting regular business.
According to a CBN statement issued on Monday, March 13, banks must start paying and accepting old Naira notes from customers until December 31st in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling.
This followed a statement from the presidency in which it was claimed that nothing was preventing the CBN from following the Supreme Court’s ruling that extended the deadline for old Naira notes to December 31.
FCT Employees Regret The New Naira And The Cashless Policy.
Before the recent decision to extend the legal tender status of the old notes through December 31, residents and workers in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, had daily struggles with how to get to work.
Most residents of Abuja are civil servants who travel to work primarily on public transportation. They had to contend with the extreme conditions of daily struggle to get themselves to their offices during the time period under review.
While some workplaces showed their employees compassion and understanding when they were unable to obtain cash to resume working there, other workplaces insist on prompt resumption to work every day.
On Tuesday, March 14, they spoke with some employees at the Federal Secretariat to gauge their thoughts on the most recent CBN statement. They exhaled a sigh of relief, stating that the policy was stifling their productivity on a daily basis. The majority of the workers held the opinion that it was a good policy if backed up with workable technology.
Poor internet, Mobile Banking Frustrated CBN, Emefiele
Mr. Anthony Ochekwu from one of the ministries at the secretariat argued that the CBN policy would have affected the people positively only if it was backed up by good internet and mobile banking.
“It would’ve been successful. It was a sensible policy. The lack of readiness on the part of the commercial banks is the issue with the policy. The majority of them struggled to adapt to the innovation. Their online and mobile banking was overloaded. You must confirm that all commercial banks have upgraded their platforms before implementing such a policy.
People should be able to transfer if they are unable to withdraw cash. You become frustrated when you are unable to transfer funds or use cash. At that point, anything is possible.”
How Naira scarcity Affected Workers
Another government employee, Miss Mary Anthony, bemoaned the cashless system and claimed that reporting for duty was a daily struggle. “You can tell when I’m coming back to work. The outcome of this policy is it. I’m sorry, but I’m having trouble with the policy. To get N1000 cash to pay for my T.p., I had to practically beg a gas station attendant in the car that was taking us to work.
In fact, after I transferred the N1,000, the attendant gave me N800. I’m not alone in thinking this way. Many people experience this on a daily basis. People have money that is unavailable for use. The economy is fueled by consumer spending. What market women have gone through since is only imaginable.
Policy Affects Both Poor And Rich
However, Mr. Dominic Sunday, a construction worker in Utako, Abuja, claimed that this was the only policy that had an impact on both the country’s rich and poor.
“Oftentimes, government policy is one-sided. It’s usually the ordinary man that bears the brunt, but this very one is different. Nobody had the cash, both the rich and the poor. Our saving grace is because Nigerian governors were affected and they fought get CBN for it.”
It has been claimed in various places that some governors’ cash hoards at home were the reason they took the CBN all the way to the Supreme Court.
But the governors have since denied the allegation, saying the policy was affecting the ordinary people in their states. Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai had put up a defense in support of the governors on several occasions.
Recently, some point-of-sale (POS) operators generated strong business despite the absence of cash. Those with connections at banks were the ones who made the most money. They charge as much as 300 Naira for N10,000 because they collaborate closely with some privileged bank employees.
According to Miss Ene Augustine, a resident of Life-camp in Jabi, it was the most difficult time since she was born. She asserted that currently, not much could be done without money. We have really suffered from this cashless system.
The neighborhood butcher has closed down in protest of us. The cobblers are not here anymore. They lack any financial accounts. Just salt and pepper are very difficult to find here.
Rights Group Cautions CBN
In a statement released in response to the CBN’s most recent directive, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, said it is important that the CBN release funds on schedule.
The CBN should immediately release new and old naira notes to commercial banks for onward and instant disbursement to millions of Nigerians who have been groaning in bank lines and have been unable to spend their hard-earned money in the last three months, beyond rhetoric and reluctant compliance notice to banks.
“Many workers have not been able to go to work because there is no money for transport fares despite that these millions of workers have money in their bank accounts but can’t access it due to the wicked and anti-people policy of the government and the CBN especially. HURIWA also backs the Nigeria Labour Congress on its planned nationwide protest after its seven-day ultimatum on the naira crunch. Enough of impunity!”
Positives From CBN’s Cashless Regime
The regime has positive aspects despite its flaws. Due to the fact that people’s savings were held captive in financial institutions, banks are reportedly the biggest winners from the policy. Those who engaged in transferring funds had to pay different charges.
A banker who does not want his name in print told Us that banks made so much money from just opening accounts for people who never had one before the introduction of the policy. This has further strengthened the banking sector.
The majority of analysts have also noted that cash-related crimes have significantly decreased since the Naira notes have become scarce. People no longer keep cash at home, which has led to a decrease in crimes like armed robbery, burglary, and kidnapping.
The crime rate is anticipated to increase as a result of the deadline extension, according to a security expert with Halogen who did not want his name mentioned.
Meanwhile, it is yet to be seen if the old Naiara notes already returned to the CBN will still be sent back to the commercial banks and will be enough to go round in a short while. This will become clearer in a matter of days.
Femi-Fani Kayode Calls Emefiele Terrible Names, Reveals How The World Will Remember Him
Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, blasted Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for punishing Nigerians after the old naira notes were put back into circulation.
In a tweet, Fani-Kayode referred to Emefiele by several different names, adamant that future generations would harshly judge him for the redesign of the money. The following will be engraved on his gravestone when he passes away.