New notes: Deadline extension of no value if scarcity persists – LCCI

The chamber said that these would reduce public tension and ensure seamless transition from the old to the new Naira notes.

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to educate the public on grey areas with regard to scarcity of the new Naira notes.

The LCCI also advised the apex bank to strength the police implementation capacity.

newly redesigned Naira notes

The chamber said that these would reduce public tension and ensure seamless transition from the old to the new Naira notes.

The Director-General of LCCI, Dr Chinyere Alumona, gave the advice in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

She said that when the redesigned Naira notes were launched in December, expectations were high for a smooth transition.

Alumona, however, regretted that expectations of industrialists and other members of the public might have been dashed with business deals impeded and  time and value lost.

She said that the CBN needed further enlightenment of the public on grey areas regarding the scarcity of the new notes in addition to strengthening its policy implementation capacity.

The director-general said that scarcity of the new notes  had triggered varied reactions from Nigerians.

She said that the reactions showed that phasing out of old notes, withdrawal limits and scarcity of new notes might have started impacting businesses and livelihoods  beyond intentions.

“While banks have endeavoured to meet the currency demands of customers through automatic teller machines and electronic transfers, Naira scarcity has rendered their efforts ineffective.

“Businesses are suffering the consequences of the CBN currency management policy lapses.

“Regarding the deadline extension for phasing out old notes, the chamber does not see any value in this if the scarcity of the new Naira notes persists,” she said.

Alumona said that although the chamber supported the drive toward a cashless economy, redesigning the Naira notes and phasing out old ones could have been better planned.

She said that such policies should be implemented with no hardship for businesses and individuals.