NLC threatens Tinubu’s government over cash crunch

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened that Nigerians could be forced to revolt against the Federal Government over the hardships caused by the scarcity of naira notes.

The NLC, in a statement signed by its President, Joe Ajaero, on Tuesday, December 19, condemned the scarcity and described it as an indictment on the Federal Government.

“This time, there is no discernible reason by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or any explanation from the government on why Nigerians should be subjected to this level of suffering once again in 2023, though we have heard reasons like the increase in fake notes in circulation and the hoarding of the naira.

“These reasons are clearly unacceptable as we cannot see anything that will make any Nigerian hoard the naira. In any case, it is not the ordinary Nigerian that hoards money in their houses. If the CBN is saying that those with ill-gotten wealth are stashing cash in their houses to avoid detection, it becomes a heavy indictment on the government’s anti-corruption agenda.”

It said if the CBN held the above argument, it meant that the level of graft had increased, resulting in the creation of hideouts for slush funds since Tinubu assumed office.

The group stated that Nigerians were spending more time and money accessing cash, which could undermine the citizens’ confidence in the banking system and force them to react negatively to the unfavourable situation.

“We are worried that by this action and others, the government may be inciting the people and mobilising them to seek alternative routes for protecting themselves from these perverse policies. We believe that the elastic limit of the patience of Nigerians is being breached, and no government inflicts this level of pain on its citizenry and expects them to keep quiet for a long time.

“Forcing Nigerians into revolt by continuously taking actions that deny them basic access to survival will not augur well for our nation. This cash crunch is indeed another test of the already worn patience of Nigerian masses and workers,” Ajaero further noted.

The ICIR reports that there has been an increasing scarcity of cash in circulation in the country in recent weeks, which has left Nigerians frustrated as most Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have ceased to dispense cash in many parts of the country.

This has resulted in a high cost of charges demanded by POS operators that Nigerians are increasingly turning to for cash.

The ICIR reported the situation threatened the Nigerian economy, as the high costs of POS charges might drive the already soaring inflation rate, currently at 28.2 per cent, even higher.






     

     

    Nigerians are confronting cash scarcity for the second time in 2023.

    Between January and March 2023, the naira redesign and cashless policy introduced by the CBN created severe hardship for Nigerians, who could not access cash to meet daily needs.

    Tinubu, who was then vying for the presidency, had strongly condemned the scarcity and had blamed the CBN for plotting his defeat through the naira redesign and the currency’s unavailability for citizen’s use.

    He had said, “Let them increase the price of fuel. Only them know where they have hoarded fuel. They hoarded money; they hoarded naira. We will go and vote, and we will win. Even if they changed the ink on naira notes. Whatever their plans, it will come to nought. We are going to win. Those in the PDP will lose (won ma lule).”

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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