Make cash accessible, remove obstacles —stakeholders plead

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By Lucy Ogalue

Some stakeholders have appealed to the Federal Government and relevant authorities to remove obstacles and improve accessibility of cash to ameleorate the sufferings of Nigerians.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that Nigerians were hungry and getting desperate due to insufficient cash.

A Professor of Transport Management, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Calistus Ibe, said the currency change by the government was a welcome development.

Ibe, however, said that the non availability and accessibility of cash by citizens was a great challenge and an inflationary threat to the country.

He said, “the only mistake they are making is not ensuring cash is available. If it is available and within reach, inflationary threat will be reduced.

“But for now, there is no money, people are not able to buy what to eat. We should be entitiled to our money if we earn it.

“If things are well, it will bring down inflation and bring down our appetite that has been so wetted.

“So government should Increase the quantum of money available, make it available, make it accessible, remove the impediments and obstacles in accessing money. ”
Prof. Samuel Odewumi, Immediate Past Dean, School of Transport and Logistics, Lagos State University said the transportation sector was the most affected by the change in currency.

“The transportation sector is the most affected in this currency deposit.

“If there is any area we can use for illustration on how this thing has failed, it is mostly the transport sector.

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“This is because you can go to the supermarket to buy all your stuff and pay through online but transport is not like that.”

According to him, how many people have Android smart phones to do transfer, how many drivers/riders have bank accounts? Our ICT are also not ready for this cashless policy.

“ Although in the world today, Nigeria is among the most cashless economy because our cash in hand to cash flow/cash release is about two per cent whereas America has 10 per cent.”

Similarly, Mrs Chinwe Uwaegbute, the National Publicity Secretary, Chatered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIOTA), said Nigerians were not prepared for a currency change.

“The population is not totally prepared to receive and embrace this change.

“More so, lack/ limitation of currency in the system has so much impacted on transportation, making it difficult for people to move easily as they should,” she said.

According to Uwaegbute, lack of cash has also made purchases very difficult.

She said, “It is not just about the swap, scarcity of fuel has also burdened and made transportation difficult and expensive for Nigerians to afford.

“So we are looking up to the Federal Government to look at how best this can be well Implemented and funds to be readily available for people.

“And I think we all need to be given more time for people to accept it and accept the change. ”
Meanwhile, Mrs Agatha Samson, an Administrative staff in a private office said the lack of cash almost cost her the job she laboured for years to get.

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Samson said she had tried to get cash from her bank for two days within the past week to no avail.

According to her, on the third day, she could not leave her house to work as she had no means of getting to work, no cash.

“It took the grace of God and interventions of some senior colleagues in my department for me to still retain my job in my office.

“This is because my boss almost lost a contract that day I was absent, because I was not available to present the documents needed for the project.

“This made my boss very angry and asked that a sack letter be issued to me immediately for my lack of competence.

“I really pray something is done speedily to make this new cash available for Nigerians, especially for middle class people like me, “Samson said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

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