By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, has expressed concerns over the N100,000 cash withdrawal limit announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, saying there is “no gainsaying that the livelihood of many individuals and enterprise sustainability would be impacted.”
Reacting to the new policy, Director-General of NECA’s Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, said “As usual with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bank announced a new naira withdrawal policy without extensive consultation with Organized businesses and those that will be directly impacted by the Policy. This new policy is diversionary and a mere distraction from the critical issues that are affecting the Nation. With the inflation rate hovering around 20 percent and over 100 million Nigerians in multidimensional poverty, the best that Government should do is not to further cripple the economic activities of Nigerians. It is no gainsaying that the livelihood of many individuals and enterprise sustainability would be impacted.
“While it is desirable to get all bankable individuals and businesses into the banking system and promote the cashless policy of the CBN, the timing without adequate preparation and sensitization of the critical mass that drives the economy (the SMEs and MSMEs) could prove counter-productive and further drive many below the poverty line. This is another classical example of the inconsistencies and misalignments between the fiscal and monetary policies of the Government. It is absurd to blatantly set traps of processing fees for individuals and businesses who desire to withdraw their hard-earned money from the bank for legitimate and genuine business transactions. It is also important to note that the banking infrastructure and mobile/digital facility to drive the cashless policy are not sufficiently developed. This is not only draconian but also inhuman.
“We urge the CBN and indeed, the Federal Government to replicate the energy and promptness used in implementing this policy to address the issues of dwindling value of the Naira, rising inflation, oil theft, ballooning foreign debt, and get millions out of poverty realm. While Nigerians businesses are groaning under the burden created by not-well-thought-out Government policies, more misery should not be placed on them as we approach the yuletide season.”