NAIRA SCARCITY LINGERS, TRADERS RATION CASH
Written by Oyebamiji Idowu on December 19, 2023
Frustration boils over as Nigerians, particularly grassroots farmers and petty traders, grapple with the ongoing cash crunch. Their once-lucrative businesses are withering under the strain, with many resorting to hiding their meager earnings outside the banking system for fear of them getting trapped.
The pain extends beyond individual pockets. Small and medium-scale enterprise associations fear the crisis could derail the government’s financial inclusion ambitions, particularly in rural areas. With limited access to cash, financial transactions stagnate, hindering economic activity and jeopardizing livelihoods.
Despite the Central Bank’s assurances of ample cash supply, the reality on the ground paints a different picture. ATMs sputter empty, and banks dole out cash begrudgingly, forcing Nigerians through daily hurdles to access their own money. The stark disconnect between official pronouncements and lived experiences fuels public exasperation.
The question now echoes: how long will this cash drought persist? Can the Central Bank bridge the gap between its pronouncements and the reality on the ground? The answers hold the key to reviving businesses, calming frustrations, and ensuring that financial inclusion remains a viable path, not a fading dream, for Nigerian citizens, especially those at the grassroots.
The saga continues, demanding swift action and tangible solutions to alleviate the suffering of those most affected. Only then can the true cost of this cash crunch be truly measured and addressed.