Photo Collage of President Muhammadu Buhari, Naira Notes, and Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN Credit: Intel Region

Naira Scarcity: CBN’s cashless policy has destroyed several SMEs, says Group

*Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs organisation laments the implementation of the Naira redesign/cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria has destroyed several businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises, describing the current situation as ‘a huge blow to the entrepreneurial community’ in the country’s economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Concerned about the fallout of the implementation of the Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a business group, Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (AYE) organisation, said the new Naira/cashless policy of the Banks’ Bank had destroyed many businesses in the country.

ConsumerConnect reports the group, in an open letter Dr. Summy Smart-Francis, President of AYE, signed and addressed to Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, lamented that such policies made it extremely difficult for individuals and businesses to gain access to cash.

Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs is a non-profit organisation, established in 2010, and based in Johannesburg, South Africa (SA).

The entrepreneurial body facilitates intra-trade among African entrepreneurs in 19 countries, and it is regarded as the largest Economic group on the continent with over 12 million pan-African members.

The open letter was titled, ‘You have killed many businesses in Nigeria – Open letter to Emefiele (CBN Governor)’, report noted.

Dr. Smart-Francis noted the cost of living and doing business skyrocketed, and several small business owners incurred losses and debts in the Nigerian economy.

According to AYE, a cashless economy was supposed to make life easier, but this came with “untold hardship” as it turned into a “nightmare.”

The letter also stated: “Long queues at banks’ ATMs and people even sleeping there overnight were a common sight; workers could not get to their workplaces, some either trek long distances as they couldn’t get cash for transportation fare.

“Over the past few weeks, I witnessed firsthand, the harsh impact of the cashless policy on businesses and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, as many entrepreneurs and members of our community complained bitterly, with thousands of businesses ruined.”

Consumers’ inability to access essential goods and services

AYE also alleged: “Your policies made it extremely difficult for individuals and businesses to gain access to cash, which was a huge blow to the entrepreneurial community and led to the inability of millions of consumers to access essential products and services, especially in the West African country.

Nigerian agricultural produce

“The cost of living and doing business skyrocketed, and many small business owners ran into losses and debts.”

It further noted: “Governor Emefiele, your actions, and inactions have killed many businesses in Nigeria.

“Farmers recorded massive losses as they watched their farm produce get rotten before their very eyes, due to unavailability of the legal tender for transactions.”

The group advised Emefiele to tread more carefully in the future when implementing monetary policies, and most importantly, listen to the plight of the Nigerian consumers.

AYE stated: “While we continue to educate entrepreneurs of the benefits and operations of a cashless society in our organisation, adequate time should be factored to be able to spread this literacy across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.”

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