• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Winners and losers in naira redesign policy

Naira currently undervalued – Cardoso

“The redesign of the Naira is expected to strengthen the economy, reduce the expenditure on cash management, promote financial inclusion, and enhance the CBN’s visibility of the money supply”

According to the Deputy General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Chris Onyeka, the Naira redesign policy was probably a conscious effort to undermine productivity of Nigerians across the nation. One wonders why an economy that is not fully out of recession could be subjected to such self-battering and maltreatment. Settling political scores should not be a consideration when decision for the Nigerian commonwealth is up for consideration.

We have never seen so much confusion from a ruling party in the government for such a long time in the developing democracy of the republic. In a sarcastic response to the confusion caused by the redesign policy some analysts wonder if Shaka the Zulu , the great South African war tactician is back to town with his *scotched earth policy*

This practice is carried out by the military in enemy territory or in its own home territory while it is being invaded. It may overlap with, but it is not the same as, punitive destruction of the enemy’s resources, which is usually done as part of political strategy, rather than operational strategy. This is the stuff of brass hats and we have one at the Aso Rock presently.

Organized labour says “A government that is seeking ways to enhance productivity and drive economic development and not taking the issue of the cash crunch seriously speaks to the irresponsible way we have run governance in the country. Cash is fluid and when cash is emasculated, the people are emasculated and productivity is also undermined. “A worker that does not have cash to pay for transport, while waiting for buses that accept transfer or POS, by the time he gets to work very late, he is already tired and frustrated. Such a worker will not be able to focus at work. The moment you sit down to work, you begin to doze off and the next thing you begin to think of is how you are going to get home. All these occupy your mind and you then lose focus,” This apart, psychologist also warns the government that the herd effect of a population of depressed people could be very telling on the health system of the country. The out going government would be remembered for creating a deep mental health problem where one did not exist in the first place.

The redesign policy is expected to rail backwards the gains made as far as financial inclusion is concerned. The inaccessibility of the masses to cash during this crisis clearly shows you can’t trust all your money to the banks & government. They would either not give it to you as and when you need it or reduce the amount you can get at any given time . All of this is happening in the face of different kinds of taxation. It is obvious the era of free oil money is coming to an end and government must work for its money . This administration is challenged by this development and does not know how to deal with emerging issues. Let’s see what the President elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu can do for the economy and the people from the problems this redesign regime have thrown at the system.

The failure of the redesign initiative shows CBN failure in cash management. The policy inconsistency associated with the redesign is so disturbing that many have called the CBN so many unprintable names .

Some public policy experts have concluded that the lack of collegial and indepth discussion of serious economic issues is what has led us to where we presently find out selves.

According to Labour Unionist Comrade Aluh Moses Odeh of the All Middle Belt Youth Forum (AMBYF) the three public officials in the midst of this saga (The President, The Attorney General and the CBN Governor) in a saner world would have resigned or forced to quit due to their failures. It would be recalled that it took a lot of pressure from the public before both the Presidency and the CBN caved in to obey the Supreme Court judgment on the naira swap policy.

In all, the policy led to N20 trillion loss of possible business , NECA says small businesses are going into extinction in their hundreds while food factories closing down are increasing by the day while Nigerians are using their wages to buy money for transport fare and basic services.

One of the major lessons from the currency redesign fiasco is that we lack the infrastructure for a true cashless economy. We need to perfect a cashlite economy first before we embark on the last phase of the journey. A digitized and cashless economy. Meanwhile we are all losers on this journey no winners.

CBN Governor , Godwin Emefiele has had a turbulent time in office because he hasn’t been focused on his core assignment which is the protection and development of the economy instead he has been distracted by Politics and petty scandals..

Michael Umogun is chartered marketer with internet in public policy.