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Cash Crunch: Again, Afenifere expresses concern, calls on FG, CBN to make cash available

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The pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to make good his declaration last week regarding the Supreme Court pronouncement on the circulation of naira notes, urging him to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to dispense cash widely. In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Afenifere stated that reports from various parts of the country indicate that people are still finding it very difficult to obtain cash from banks and related spots such as Deposit Monetary Banks.

“This is making life very difficult for our people just as the situation is forcing many businesses to go un-der, especially small and medium scale businesses.” It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement issued on his behalf by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, declared that he did not stop either the Central Bank Governor or the Attorney-General of the Federation from complying with the order of the apex court. The apex court had earlier this month, ordered that both the old and the new naira notes should remain in circulation as legal tenders until December 31, 2023. It also stated that the ceiling put on the amount of money a customer can withdraw from his or her bank account is an infringement on the customer’s rights. And that it should be stopped forthwith. But, according to Ajayi, as at the beginning of this week when this statement was being issued, currency notes are not only hard to come by, banks still put a limit on the amount a customer can withdraw. Even then, it was not all the banks that are giving out cash as many are still complaining of scarcity of either the old or new notes. Afenifere asserted that if this trend continues, the country and the citizens “are in for serious economic and social upheavals,” adding: “Right thinking Nigerians never cease to be amazed by disclosures from the Presidency which seem to fly against the reality of what is happening in the country. At the moment, everybody knows that not only are businesses under serious strain, Nigerians are finding it difficult to maintain what they have. “Besides, millions of people are finding it difficult to stay afloat as their means of livelihood is experiencing a lot of setbacks. It is therefore surprising to hear voices from the seat of power asserting that businesses are growing.” In conclusion, Afenifere called on President Buhari to prevail on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to ensure that petroleum products are widely available just as he should order Mr Godwin Emefiele of the Central Bank to supply commercial banks with both the old and new naira notes adequately.

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