Following the recent announcement by the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the redesigning of the country’s currency, there have been various reactions from experts on the policy. While some experts agree with the Central Bank’s strategic objectives for the exercise, others differ.
The President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar in his reaction to the redesigning of the new Naira notes stated that, “as a Chamber, we recognize the advantages of by this policy to include improvement in the integrity of the currency, curbing inflation, the efficiency of its supply and strengthening the strategy to conduct monetary policy, among others.
“However, we are not unaware of the cons of this policy on the national economy, specifically to MSMEs. We would recommend to the Apex Bank to intensify public awareness campaign on the need for people and businesses to transit cash outside the banking system to the banks. This sensitization will allay the fears of Nigerians, deepen the buy-in of the citizenry, and build national support for the implementation process. At the same time, CBN should extend the deadline for the non-continuation of the use of the old currency notes.”
He said that the Chamber would also advise the CBN to provide financial and non-financial interventions (support) to cushion any likely negative impact this policy may have on businesses that may be affected by the policy, while working with the Banks to develop incentives that may encourage those with cash outside of the banking systems to patronize the banks.
The President also said that the CBN, working with other stakeholders in the financial services eco space, needs to sustain and aggressively pursue and expand financial inclusiveness to cover unbanked segments of the society while adding that this can be achieved through new procedures that match the peculiarities of the informal economy.
“The banking establishments also have a duty to harmonize bank charges associated with cash deposits.”