Cash crunch: Tinubu’s govt creating avenue for POS operators, bank collaborators to fleece Nigerians – Ajaero

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NLC President, Joe Ajaero

The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, has condemned the cash crunch in the country, saying the government’s inability to keep a healthy volume of cash in circulation is creating an avenue for economic rentiers such as the POS operators and their collaborators in the Banks to fleece Nigerians.

Ajaero said this in a Tuesday statement obtained by The Herald.

He said the NLC was deeply concerned about the recent cash crunch that has gripped the Nigerian economy, particularly as the nation approaches the festive season.

According to Ajaero, this economic challenge has far-reaching implications for the citizens and urgent steps must be taken to address this issue to prevent further hardships for the already suffering Nigerian populace.

The NLC boss alleged that the ill-conceived and ill-implemented currency redesign policy of the immediate past government orchestrated the previous cash scarcity.

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“This time, there is no discernible reason by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) neither 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 anti-corruption agenda.

“This is because what the CBN is saying is that since the assumption of office of this Government, that the level of graft has increased resulting in the creation of hideouts for the slush funds.

“The question then is; should the ordinary citizens be made to suffer the apparent incompetence of government in prosecuting the anti-corruption war or is it that there is actually no anti-corruption war going on?” he asked.

Ajaero lamented that Nigerians are spending more time in the banks trying to source for cash “not for monies that are not in their accounts but for their own money”.

“This is undermining confidence of the public 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 spend our meagre salaries buying our money automatically devalues our income. POS operators currently charge around N400 to access N10,000. This is about a 4% reduction in the value of the income of poor Nigerians who hardly make use of electronic platforms to perform their transactions. For citizens who are already impoverished by the same policies of Government, foisting this on them again, amounts to gross insensitivity and double jeopardy.”

He warned that these challenges may incite the public against the government.

“We are worried that by 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,” Ajaero said.

“We believe that the elastic limit of the patience of Nigerians is being breached and no government inflicts this level of pains 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.”

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