Naria Scarcity: Osinbajo Criticise Buhari Policy, Tells Emefiele What To Do

 

 

Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, the second man in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, has described as “disturbing” the inability of Nigerians to have access to the new naira notes and the ongoing naira scarcity which has caused protest nationwide.

 

Osinbajo on Friday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to engage financial technology companies (fintechs) as well as mobile money agents to address the issue of getting new naira notes across the country.

 

Osibanjo, in a meeting with some fintech stakeholders, expressed worries over the difficulty in getting new naira notes and advised the CBN and commercial banks to address the situation immediately.

 

“You need cash to pay for transport. For instance, in Abuja, how do you take ‘drop or along’ or use a Keke NAPEP without cash, or buy foodstuff on the road or in canteens, or even buy recharge cards?” Osinbajo said, according to a release by Laolu Akande, his spokesperson.

 

“Parents with kids in public schools give money daily to their children for lunch, most commerce is informal, so you need cash for most things.

 

“It seems to me that banks must engage their mobile money operators. Fintechs with mobile money licenses and many of them have micro-finance bank licenses now and already have a network of mobile money agents or human banks or human ATMs (as they are sometimes called) who are responsible for them and they can supervise themselves. They can do currency swaps and open bank accounts.”

 

Speaking further on the redesign of the naira notes, Osinbajo lamented the scarcity of the new notes.

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“More disturbing is the fact that after depositing your old notes, there are no new notes, so people everywhere in the urban areas and rural areas simply have no money,” he said.

 

“There are logistical challenges that have to be addressed by the CBN and the banks, especially from the point of view of the average Nigerian and those in the hinterland who hardly use any electronic platforms.”

 

Osinbajo also said while there has always been a certain failure rate in online banking and money transactions, they have become even more difficult now with the increase in the number of transactions congesting the system.

 

“So where in the past you used POS or any of the electronic platforms, you had maybe 20 percent to 30 percent failure rate, now because everyone is trying to get on those platforms, obviously, the failure rate is much more and the problems are much more pronounced,” the Vice President noted.

 

“We really need to make progress even as we make efforts to deal with some of these issues confronting us today,” he said.

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