By Nwabueze Okonkwo, ONITSHA
As the ongoing federal government’s cashless policy, naira currency redesign and currency swap continued to bite harder on average Nigerians, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Anambra state chapter has thrown its weight behind the nationwide industrial action being proposed by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.
NLC had threatened to commence the nationwide strike and barricade the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN
by Monday, next week if CBN failed to release more currencies into circulation to enable civil servants to have access to their monies in various commercial banks to enable them to pay their transport fares to their workplaces and also buy foodstuffs to feed their families.
Anambra state Chairman of CAN, Venerable Joseph Nweke who gave this indication during a two-day Retreat organized for Anglican Church Bishops and Priests, by the Anglican Diocese on the Niger at the All Saints’ Cathedral, Onitsha, said Anambra CAN is solidly behind the proposed nationwide strike because the negative effects of the poorly executed two policies of cashless economy and naira swap have turned to become a huge embarrassment to the entire Nigerians.
According to Venerable Nweke who is the Archdeacon of Onitsha Inland Town Archdeaconry, “the Supreme Court has since ordered CBN to release the old naira notes they confiscated from Nigerians since they are not able to give us the redesigned naira notes but it appears they have disobeyed the court order”.
” African and Western countries that are practising cashless economy usually build infrastructures first of all upon which the system would run smoothly but in the present policy on cashless economy in Nigeria, the federal government did not consider infrastructures such as the system that will enhance free flow of cash through the internet “.
“Secondly, the federal government introduced the two policies of cashless economy and currency swap at the same time and non of them was properly arranged in such a way it will help the citizens. Currently swap, as a policy is expected that government should print new naira notes so that if you bring your old naira notes, they will swap it with the new ones”.
“Rather, what they did in Nigeria is to persuade the citizens to surrender their old notes to the commercial banks and instead of swapping them straightaway, they confiscated the old notes without supplying the new ones, thereby throwing the masses into an unprecedented chaos till date”.
On the just concluded general elections, Nweke described the entire scenario as very unfortunate a situation where the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the umpire, failed to apply the policies they put on ground for the general elections and came up with a very dubious questionable processes that has made many Nigerians to doubt the authenticity of the results they announced nationwide.
“INEC failed Nigerians woefully even when they collected huge amount if monies running into billions of naira for a free and fair processes. CAN Anambra state observed the elections in the state and most of our reports are indicting INEC and not even the politicians as was usually the case in the past”.
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