By Comrade Abubakar Muhammadu
Naira currency can be seen as a a precious and valuable printed paper legally accepted as a legal tender by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) that could afford any thing of Commercial transaction to an individual or Group of people within the country and it is also exchangeable with other international Currencies based on its Value.
Recently, the move by Governor of the central bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emiefele which was supported by the incumbent president of the federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to introduce a Cashless Economic policy to reduce Cash Circulation in view of the present Digital era, as the apex Bank has since lunched E- Naira in order the Country to compete favourably with its counterparts globally believing that the measure would go along way to curb Extravagance spending of Billions of Naira in the name of Printing Naira notes.
However, the New Naira redesign policy by President Muhammadu Buhari was also meant to ensure that the forthcoming 2023 is free, fair and credible devoid of any Vote buying and selling as the Country has been fighting against the menace of election irregularities which affords the politicians to engage in buying votes from the electorates which if allowed to continue, the so called Democratic system in the Country which gives the eligible voters the right to vote for their choice would totally diminish.
This policy is indeed a very laudable efforts that the president deserved to be commended for, aimed at bringing succour to the overlong defect which is a great stumbling block to the Democracy of our Father Land, considering other Developed Countries like, united States of America(USA), United kingdom(UK), China among other advance Continents which operate All their financial Transactions online
It could be recalled that the Apex Bank has after the president Buhari presided over the unveiling of the New Naira redesign policy of Higher denominations N200, N500 and N1000 in the last year 2022.
The Bank had issued Deadline from 15th December, 2022 to 31st January, 2023 to cease the use of Old Denominations as legal tender.
The Cashless policy has come with immediate effect coupled with the crises of the New Naira Scarcity amidst the lingering Fuel insufficiency in the country thereby subjecting the populace to untold hardship.
The tougher situation is highly disheartening where people find it difficult to have cash at neither Automated Teller Machine (ATMs), in their Bank halls at Counters Nor at Point of Sells (POS) all have become unaccessible to all and sundry.
The Situation had become very harsh until few days to the expiration of the January, 31 Deadline to cease the use of the all naira notes as legal tender, when the old notes were avoided by all while the circulation of the New ones were very short as at the time The Apex Bank had extended the Expiration date by another Ten Day from 31 to 10th February, 2023 this is when the Sufferings had redoubled to the extend that Neither the New Naira notes nor the Old ones were available at any where across the 36 states of the federation.
Reports from different media organizations across the country have shown that the people in the Country most especially the masses get it hard to even manage to earn their 3 times square meals as majority of them have Neither the New Naira nor Old ones which was accompanied with Poor Banking Networks for mobile apps and USSD for Banking transaction services as well as low patronage of petty traders, Businessmen among other service providers.
The Hardship has Indeed on a daily basis deteriorating therefore forcing three states Government of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi to unilaterally take Federal government of Nigeria and the CBN to Supreme Court on 8th February two days to the second deadline over what they described as untold hardship imposed on their people.
Furthermore, the supreme Court of Nigeria in its rules by 5 man bench led by Justice John Okoro ruled out that the CBN should suspend the Deadline for 10th February for an interim injunction and adjourned it’s sitting till 15th for hearing of Decision of the FG by Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice Abubakar Malami SAN.
From this point of Injunction by the Supreme Court, there was uncertainty on the old naira as a legal tender by 10th February where Nigerians have divided into two categories one received the old Naira denominations while others refused the old notes as a legal tender by the Apex Bank.
Till-date the New Naira redesign policy is not available at the citizens’ disposal making life more difficult which gives the POS operators privileged to excessive charging the Customers patronizing their Services, Now the hardship is undescribable to the extend that prices of Foodstuffs are very low in markets as a result of Scarcity of Naira circulation in the hands of Citizenry I quote Economic study which says “higher the demand lower the price, lower the demand, higher the price”.the current situation is that when two elements fight the Grasses suffer the most.
Conclusively, the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in collaboration with The central bank of Nigeria(CBN) Should provide all necessary requirements before making this present issues into reality, this is Because Nigeria as a developing country should Put in place all the needed facilities, include, printing surplus of the New Naira Notes for a sufficient distribution and circulation to across all Branches of the Apex Bank, Commercial Banks, micro and macro finance Banks in all nooks and crannies across the country.
Also Networks of Telecommunication service providers, Banking Networks As well as all financial service providers most be upgraded to stabilize its timely Functions as Countless of Rural areas, Villages among other Urban and Semi-urban Areas are under Hectically Telecommunication Networks talk more on Banking Network Services. In addition stiff penalty should be imposed on any individual or organization refused to accept Cashless policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in order to serve as deterrent to others who have the same thought,while Government on its own part should not restrict on collecting the Newly redesigned Naira as examplified by Good luck Ebele Jonathan.
Media organization as the fourth estate of Realm,Traditional holders Cooperate bodies as well as Non Governmental organization(NGOs) should also be engaged by the federal government on the need to sensitize and mobilize the masses to know the significance of the New Naira redesign policy there by partaking in E-Naira policy for an Easier live and industrialized Nigeria as Today the World is in your Palm.
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