The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has urged Nigerians to embrace alternative payment channels like the eNaira and internet banking in the face of the cashless policy.
This is against the backdrop of challenges being faced by Nigerians sequel to the naira redesign and the naira swap.
The Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanusobi, while speaking at the just concluded 44th Kaduna International Trade Fair, explained that the new naira policy is not in any way targeted at any individual as being insinuated in the public domain.
Speaking on the theme, “Promoting Value Addition for Economic Growth and Development”, he stated that promoting value addition to the country’s exports is critical for economic growth and development at this critical time.
Represented by Mohammed Abbah, Director, Capacity Development of CBN, he noted that “the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has always said that the policy is not targeted anyone or any group of persons, rather, it derived from the Bank’s in-house analysis to strengthen our macroeconomic fundamentals and better our socio-economic conditions.”
On the naira redesign, he said that the principal aim of the bank is to make the country’s monetary policy decisions more efficacious, assuring that Nigerians would observe that there has been a downward trend in inflation, and the exchange rates have been relatively stable.
He added that CBN aimed to increase financial inclusion in the country by reducing the number of the unbanked population and to support the efforts of the security agencies in combating banditry and ransom-taking in Nigeria through this programme.
According to him, the CBN is not unmindful of the challenges some citizens have had to face in the past few weeks in efforts to get money from their banks or other alternative channels, stressing that there have been reports of occasional transaction failures.
He assured that the Nigerian payment system infrastructure is robust enough to handle the surge in transaction volumes across all channels.
Osita observed that the Produce, Add Value and Export, PAVE, option of the CBN is similar to the export-led industrialization policy South-East Asia, which transformed the economic fortunes of the Asian-Tigers-Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, pointing out that the concept designed to be key for fast-tracking a bucket of substitutes to crude oil export while PAVE encourages backward integration for the local production of select items.
Through PAVE, he stated that CBN seeks to create a proper linkage between agriculture and the manufacturing sectors of the Nigerian economy while also providing a cushion against the volatility in crude oil production and export.