In Nigeria, a troubling situation has emerged. Rumors have now turned into a grim reality – there’s a severe shortage of naira across the country. This scarcity is hitting bank customers hard. Many struggle to get cash from ATMs, often limited to just N5000.
This problem is causing long lines at ATMs and banks. It’s making life difficult for everyday Nigerians who need cash for daily business and family needs. The issue is worse in areas where banks have shut down due to insecurity. Poor network connections in some places also make mobile transactions tough.
Sadly, there’s no clear reason for this sudden naira shortage.
This crisis brings back bad memories. In the past, a naira redesign program by the CBN caused a lot of trouble. Both old and new notes disappeared from banks, causing widespread pain.
Earlier in October, the CBN blamed the crisis on high bank withdrawals and ATM panic withdrawals. But this explanation has holes. If banks were taking out lots of cash, why wasn’t it reaching people? And why hasn’t the CBN fixed this yet?
The CBN must be honest about this issue. If there are hidden economic problems, the public should know. Earlier this year, a similar crisis caused a lot of harm. People couldn’t get cash for health care, leading to deaths. The economy also took a big hit.
It’s worrying that this is happening again, especially with the holidays coming.
Even though the Supreme Court said old and new naira notes are legal, the shortage continues. Does the problem of big withdrawals also affect northern areas without banks due to insecurity?
A possible reason is that the CBN is taking cash out of circulation to fight inflation. This method is controversial in its effectiveness. It might also be an effort to cut down on demand for foreign currencies, affecting the naira’s value.
The CBN’s main job is to keep prices stable, but it should try other ways to fight inflation. Just reducing cash in the economy has its limits, especially in a complex economy like Nigeria’s.
We think the naira shortage is because the CBN is taking cash out. We ask the CBN to stop this and give cash to the public. There’s no good reason for this hardship.
This year, measures like raising the Monetary Policy Rate to 18.75% haven’t stopped inflation, now at 27.33%. Government actions, like removing petrol subsidies and changing naira policies, have also driven inflation. The authorities should tackle these root causes, not make things harder for Nigerians.
Looking to the new year, we should focus on boosting the economy, not keeping it tight. The current policy is hurting Nigerians. We urge the CBN: Give cash to Nigerians now.