Naira Redesign: CBN can’t continue to snub Nigerians - PREMIUM TIMES
The CBN cannot afford to continue to snub our democratic institutions the way it has done so far.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Muda Yusuf, has criticised Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) over its defiance of public institutions’ outcry to extend the deadline for the phasing out of the old naira notes.
The CEO spoke at the weekly episode of PREMIUM TIMES’ TwitterSpaces titled “ New Notes scarcity vs. January deadline and the implications for Nigerians.”
PT TwitterSpaces is an innovation of PREMIUM TIMES put together to advance conversations around issues of national concern.
This week’s edition of the programme — the first to be held this year, had Mr Yusuf; Global Analytics Consulting Limited CEO, Tope Fasua; Iyaloja of Abuja, Toyin Badmus and other stakeholders feature as guest speakers amidst lingering lamentations from Nigerians across the country over the grossly inadequate circulation of new notes ahead of the 31 January deadline.
Mr Yusuf said it has become very obvious that the central bank has grossly underestimated what it takes to execute this transition from the old notes to the new notes.
“So I think the logical thing to do is to extend it. We are in a democracy, the CBN cannot afford to continue to snub our democratic institutions the way it has done so far.”
He added that Nigerians have seen clear evidence of lack of capacity with respect to production from the bank because if something is available in adequate supply, it would show and if otherwise, it will still be obvious as is currently the case with Nigerians.
“So clearly we are dealing with a situation of acute shortage, that’s when you relate what’s made available to the demand of the new notes. Even up to last week, last Friday, some banks and ATMs were still dispensing the old notes,” Mr Yusuf lamented.
He explained that the current situation is not a result of a lack of trying on the part of the citizens, but the aftermath of the banking system’s inability and lack of capacity to respond to the exponential demands for new notes.
“So if that is the case, I think the logical thing to do would have been to extend the date. I was really shocked and amazed when I heard the CBN governor during the MPC meeting say that he doesn’t have good news for us that the deadline stands,” the CEO said.
Mr Yusuf said the new notes shortage crisis is not the making of Nigerians but that of the CBN.
“From the beginning, I have challenges even with the very proposition of redesign. Redesigning is good. But when you contextualise it within the priorities that this economy needs at this moment, it is the least of our problems. I am not saying it is not desirable, but you situate things within the context of your priorities,” he added.