The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to save the Nigerian economy by making Naira notes available for commerce and prosecute saboteurs of its policy on the redesign of the Naira notes.
NECA’s Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, made the call in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.
Oyerinde also urged government to urgently ensure availability of the new Naira notes, to ease the frustration of Nigerians.
He said this was important to save Nigeria’s fragile economy from further crashing, with its multi-faceted problems including petrol scarcity.
Oyerinde said that one worrisome and distinctive feature of recent economic policies remained their poor implementation.
“The country is not short of good policies, but implementation by relevant authorities remains a challenge; while the naira redesign is commendable, the implementation so far is short of commendable.
‘’A policy purportedly designed to curb inflation, encourage the cashless culture and foster financial inclusion among others is inadvertently pushing many Nigerians into frustration.
‘’This is in view of the current epileptic Bank transfers and inefficient e-payment systems, and general inadequacy of online banking infrastructure.
‘’The current situation portends grave danger for the economy, because Nigerians have no access to the new notes, businesses are short of sales and most employees find it difficult to go to work because of lack of cash.
‘’It is apt to conclude that it could be counter-productive to seek to implement a cashless economy abruptly, when at the same time the new Naira notes are being rolled out in limited quantities within an impracticably short timeframe”, he said.
The director-general said that due to rising inflation and real reduction in citizens’ purchasing power, the nation could be witnessing financial losses in many Small and Medium Scale businesses and also shutting down of many large businesses.
He lamented that as Nigerians grappled with scarcity of cash, they were at the same time confronted with high cost of Petrol, a product for which trillions of naira was being expended as subsidy.
According to him, businesses also continue to face increasing energy cost, inadequate Foreign Exchange rates, and high operating costs among others.
‘He said that more immediate and drastic action should be taken to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products to cushion the harsh effects of current scarcity.
Oyerinde said that making Nigerians spend hours on queue for a product that the nation is naturally blessed with, which is also subsidised, is not only contradictory, but also shameful.