NEW NAIRA: Nigerians Groan As Effects of Cashless Policy Persist
There occurs two sides to every policy of the government in any given society. Meanwhile, in every democratic setting like Nigeria, it’s expected of the government to aggregate public opinions of the citizens of the country before a particular policy is initiated and adopted by the entire country.
Nonetheless, the Nigerian government has often been independent of the public views of the citizens while a particular policy is formulated. Even though the masses are usually at the receiving end of any negative impact of certain political decisions in society, the current APC led-administration has vehemently paid a deaf ear toward the plight of the masses concerning the current cashless policy initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN.
The question is whether or not those who initiated this kind of policy still live in the country or in overseas. It’s pretty worrisome how in a pragmatic move to contain one identified problem that the general public would bear the brunt of offenses being committed by those privileged to be in leadership positions.
Should this not call for a revolt against the Central Bank of Nigeria and the APC led-administration for inflicting untold hardships on the masses in the name of fighting corruption? Biblically, there is time for everything as well as a season suitable for everything. It’s however, unfortunate that it is at this time of year when the public strives to provide solutions to various embodiments including insecurity, hunger, and global pandemic, among other forms of instabilities rooted in bad governance that the government deemed most fit for such policies.
How could a cashless policy succeed in a country where there are poor network services? Again, how could rural dwellers survive in a society where banks and other banking systems are situated in the cities? Moreover, who would have the day of those in the communities where the term cashless policy sounds strange?
Just currently the poor mobile service network at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex which houses three markets in Lagos, on Saturday stalled commerce, as traders complained of inability to transfer cash online.
Consequently, the traders, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria at the close of business, said the problem was frustrating and unbearable.
They said many customers who bought goods with the hope of transferring cash online to pay for the items, waited for the debit alerts till the end of the day without success as purchased and packed goods were returned.
NAN reports that the introduction of the new redesigned N1,000, N200, and N500 notes and their slow-pace release in the system by commercial banks, as directed by the Federal Government, has been causing hardship to the people.
The government said the cash shortage was to revamp the economy.
An article and confectionary distributor, Andrew Umeh, said the cashless policy that they have adopted was not helping matters because of the poor network.
Umeh, who doubles as the Chairman of Line Heads, appealed to the authorities to come to their aid by improving the mobile network in the market to enable the commerce community trade.
“Since the government is finding it difficult to release cash to the system for reasons best known to them, they should please allow us to trade with better network service to encourage online cash transfers,” he said.
A Business Machine seller, Chijioke Duru, said trading had become herculean, as people who bought items as low ad N1,500 opted for online cash transfers.
Duru, who said he lost a transaction worth N700,000 because of a lack of cash and a poor mobile network to enable the customer to make a transfer, said if the trend continues by next week, a huge protest will be imminent for many who are affected.
“We are tired of this frustration. Government should provide us with an alternative, soft-landing by ensuring that the network is improved.
“Many of us rented these places with big amounts of money with workers and levies to cater for. It is from the sales that we see money to foot these bills,” he said.
He noted that the market was virtually empty without customers because of the shortage of cash.
Elsewhere at a relaxation spot in Tedi, Ojo, Lagos, the same scenario was noticed, as issues ensued because of the poor network as customers who purchased drinks and other items were unable to transfer cash online.
The altercation that the poor network generated at the place led to the owners not allowing the customers to leave until they got an alert that did not come. It took the intervention of security operatives to settle the matter with a signed agreement for the customers to pay the following day if the expected payment alert did not come.
On the other hand, Social Media were in the weekend flooded with photos of suspected bandits in the forest, displaying cartons of redesigned naira notes. This particular incident has triggered a series of questions about how the group got the wads of naira notes that they display indiscriminately in the forest, while the right-thinking citizens are being starved as a result of the new naira policy.
There is an exigent need for the Federal Government and the CBN to reverse the policy, having seen its adverse effects on the entire population of the country.