Thursday, 23 May, 2024

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Naira crunch: Economy loses #20trn, grinding down –CPPE


The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE) has lamented gradual  grinding down of the Nigerian economy saying that an estimated N20 trillion has been lost since the onset of the cash crisis.

The Centre also bemoaned the  protracted acute cash scarcity, which  has not only crippled economic activities in the country, but now posing a major risk to the livelihoods of most Nigerians, as  payment systems across all platforms have collapsed.

Director of the Centre, Dr Muda Yusuf, who  decried that Nigerians have not been this traumatised in recent history, noted that  millions of citizens have slipped into penury and destitution as a result of the disruptions and tribulations perpetrated by the currency redesign policy, especially the mopping up of over 70 percent of cash in the economy. .

Pleading with the President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately intervene to put an end to the devastating and traumatic outcomes of a repressive, poorly conceptualised and badly implemented currency redesign policy,Yusuf said the expected relief from the supreme court judgement has not materialised, as such, citizens are consequently left in a quandary.

“We again plead with the President to immediately intervene to put an end to the devastating and traumatic outcomes of a repressive, poorly conceptualised and badly implemented currency redesign policy.  We request the following immediate actions.

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That the CBN should be directed to immediately inform the Nigerian public that the old currency notes [alongside the new notes] remain legal tender until the December 31, 2023, in line with the supreme court judgement; that the CBN should be directed to officially communicate the outcome of the Supreme court judgement to the banks and affirm compliance with the judgement and that the president should publicly empathize with Nigerians on the unwarranted and inexcusable pain and suffering that the currency redesign policy has wreaked on them.

“Digital platforms are performing sub-optimally because of congestion; physical cash is unavailable because the CBN has sucked away over 70 percent of cash in the economy and the expected relief from the supreme court judgement has not materialised.  “The banks claimed that the CBN has not officially communicated the supreme court judgement to them for any actions; the President has maintained a worrying muteness on the judgement; the market women and men are waiting to hear from the President Buhari or the CBN governor on the legal tender status of old currency notes.

Curiously, there is an apparent reluctance or unwillingness by the federal government and the CBN to comply with the supreme court judgement.  This is very disturbing and inexplicable.”

The director expressed pain that Nigerians continue to groan in the adversity inflicted by the acute cash shortage amid rejection of old currency notes by market operators, refusal by banks to accept the old notes, silence by the presidency on the supreme court judgement and absence of official pronouncement by the CBN on the issue.  

“Retail transactions across sectors have become nerve-wracking and distressing as payment system challenges persist. Since the onset of the cash crisis, the Nigerian economy has lost an estimated N20 trillion.  These losses arose from the deceleration of economic activities, the crippling of trading activities, the stifling of the informal economy, contraction in the agricultural sector and the paralysis of the rural economy. There are also corresponding job losses in hundreds of thousands.

Credit: Daily Sun

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