The inability of many Nigerians to access cash for their day-to-day activities is beginning to negatively impact the economy via livelihoods and productivity in the real sector, pushing many businesses in the informal sector to deadline.
Employers are already experiencing an increase in employee absenteeism due to the lack of access to cash for travel, especially among low-level workers. Informal sector advocacy groups have seen lower activity in recent weeks, although factories are also seeing lower shift numbers and capacity utilization due to fewer workers and weaker product sales at retailers.
As many banks’ online platforms and apps continue to fail stress tests, many Nigerians are unable to complete necessary transactions when opting for cashless payments, yet equally unable to access their cash.
Nigeria’s economy has come to a standstill after the Central Bank of Nigeria siphoned more than 70% of its cash from the federal government, losing about N20 trillion, a new report by an economic think tank, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise said on Sunday.
The ongoing severe cash shortage has not only paralyzed economic activity across the country but now poses a major risk to the livelihoods of most Nigerians.
“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,” the Director, CPPE, Dr. Muda Yusuf, stated while reacting to the currency redesign policy.
Calling for an urgent intervention by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), stressed that “Nigerians have not been this traumatised in recent history.”
“The economy is gradually grinding to a halt because of the collapse of payment systems across all platforms. 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 citizens are consequently left in a quandary. The banks claimed that the CBN has not officially communicated the Supreme Court judgment to them for any actions. The President has maintained a worrying muteness on the judgment; the market women and men are waiting to hear from President Buhari or the CBN governor on the legal tender status of old currency notes.”
cc: Punch Ng / Guardian Ng