The question today across every Nigerian is “WHAT GOOD HAS THE NAIRA RE-DESIGN DONE” Economic or Political Expediency?
Nigeria is faced with a lot of crises from national security, electricity, bad roads, poor education (ASSU STRIKE), fuel scarcity and many more. Of every crisis we battle the citizens of this country have been known to display a high level of tolerance, we can literally say that we adapt with this system. However, the limit of tolerance has been reached and I am, afraid to say that adaptation is not settling with the naira crisis battling with Nigeria this few days. We start to question things like why we can’t get access to the money we work so hard for, if the naira redesign was really necessary, why was it done now, why banks are shutting down, why Naira is being redrawn at different rates in its own country. However, the answers you and I eagerly await is when the Naira crisis will finally disappear.
1.The Claimed Motive
In an effort to recover around 85% of the entire amount of currency in circulation outside of the banking system and demonetization of politics, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued the new limits on big cash withdrawals as well as the redesigned notes.
It claimed that doing so will aid in reducing money laundering and establishing digital payments as the standard in Africa’s largest economy, which is currently predominately dominated by cash transactions. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stated in November, when they were introduced, that the newly designed denominations of 200 (43 U.S. cents), 500 ($1.08), and 1,000 naira ($2.17) would promote financial inclusion in Africa’s largest economy and make it cashless.
The push to replace the old naira banknotes with new ones has left very little cash in circulation, which has left many people angry and frustrated as they wait hours at the banks to withdraw their money and has opened the door to theft for company owners.
2.The Frustration and Confusion
Banks are not dispensing enough naira and this makes it very difficult for us to access the notes, it has now become necessary to use money to collect money. The skyrocketing charge fee when using the POS (point of sale) cannot be overemphasized I mean it is sad that you have to use the sum of about 1000naira if not more to withdraw 5000 naira. This is emotionally draining and can cause a strain on mental wellbeing.
Even after the extension, circulation is still not enough and now the country might be faced with what is termed economic bankruptcy. The supreme court which is the highest court of Nigeria the Supreme Court being the final court in the country joined in the matter which had generated intense controversy, it halted the federal government from proceeding to stop the use of the old banknotes from February 10, 2023. However, there has been no compliance from the commercial banks, which you will agree has left the masses confused about what to do and this is rather disappointing. I believe that in a country where the rule of law operates, once the supreme court determines a matter or gives an order, it is expected that everybody will comply with the order. But in a country run by opacity and secrecy you just leave people guessing on a matter that has completely collapsed the economy.
3.The big Question-Economy or Politics
There has been debate on the naira redesign and policy subject by countless number of people alongside with experts such as Lawyers, Economists and other policy experts on whether it is an Economic or Political Expediency? Many believe that this policy move is merely a diversion from the serious economic difficulties that are currently roiling the country and offers no real economic benefits to the populace.
It is important to ask the question “WAS IT WORTH IT” or has the currency change done more evil than good LET US HEAR YOUR THOUGHT