NLC Threatens a Mass Protest Following the Lingering Naira Scarcity

On Tuesday, the Nigeria Labour Congress expressed its concerns about the prolonged cash scarcity in the country as it has threatened to go on a mass protest if the issue is not rectified by the Federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This is just a few days before the Christmas Day celebration, and cash scarcity is at its highest in the country. Speaking on this, Joe Ajaero, the National President of the NLC, said that the prolonged crisis of cash scarcity hurts citizens, and he is insisting that the government come to the aid of its citizens.

Bank customers have been groaning over their inability to access cash to meet their daily needs despite assurances from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Nigerian banks have continued to ration cash over the counter, while many ATMS are not dispensing cash.

In the recently released statement by the NLC, the group warned the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria that it would go on a mass public protest if nothing is done about the naira shortage in the coming days.

The NLC boss said,

  • Fresh in the minds of every Nigerian are the excruciating conditions that we were subjugated to as a result of the last cash crunch earlier this year that was orchestrated by the ill-conceived and ill-implemented currency redesign policy of the immediate past. The sorrow that the botched exercise imposed on us is not what Nigerians wish to witness again in one year.

  • This time, there is no discernible reason given by the Central Bank of Nigeria, nor is there any explanation from the government on why Nigerians should be subjected to this level of suffering again in 2023. However, we have heard reasons like the increase in fake notes in circulation and the hoarding of the naira. These reasons are unacceptable, as we cannot see anything that will make any Nigerian hoard the naira. In any case, it is not ordinary Nigerians who hoard money in their houses.

The NLC also responded to the CBN, who said that one of the reasons for the cash scarcity was that those who acquired money illegally kept it in their safe havens to avoid persecution. The NLC, in response, said it became a heavy indictment on the government’s anti-corruption agenda.

He added, saying,

  • It is because the CBN is saying that since the assumption of office by this government, the level of graft has increased, resulting in the creation of hideouts for the slush funds.

The NLC Statement

  • The question then is, should ordinary citizens be made to suffer the apparent incompetence of the government in prosecuting the anti-corruption war, or is it that there is no anti-corruption war going on?

  • Nigerians are spending more time in the banks, trying to source cash not for money in their accounts but for their own money. This undermines the public's confidence in the banks and may discourage the citizenry from participating actively in banking. 

  • It is shameful that Nigerians would have to spend a lot of money to gain access to their hard-earned income. We are creating another avenue for economic rentiers, such as the PoS operators and their collaborators in the banks, to fleece Nigerians. Subjecting us again to spending our meagre salaries by buying our money automatically devalues our income.

  • Through this action and others, the government may be inciting the people and mobilizing 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 primary access to survival will not serve our nation well. This cash crunch is indeed another test of the already-worn patience of the Nigerian masses and workers.

  • During this Yuletide season, traditionally a time of joy, celebration, and familial gatherings, the current cash shortage threatens to cast a shadow over the festivities for many Nigerians. The unavailability of cash has increased difficulties in meeting daily needs, exacerbating ordinary citizens' economic challenges.

  • We call on the government to take immediate and decisive action to alleviate the cash crunch and mitigate its impact on the people.

  • Therefore, The government should explore measures to inject liquidity into the economy, ensuring sufficient cash flow to meet the demands of businesses and individuals. It is a pretty tale to continue brandishing cash hoarding as an excuse. Nigerians want their money, and it should be made available to them. Reasons differ from what Nigerians want to hear, but access to their money.

  • We urge the government to collaborate with other financial institutions to improve banking services, such as ensuring the availability of cash at ATMs and bank branches to facilitate easy access for the public. We urge the CBN to provide clear and transparent communication to the public regarding the steps to address the cash crunch and reassure citizens about the financial system's stability.

The NLC said it is therefore urging the Federal Government and the CBN to rescue its citizens to enable them to enjoy the festive season without financial difficulties.

Be the first to comment!

You must login to comment

Related Posts