Again, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has condemned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) new monetary policy, reiterating that limiting physical access to the legal tender “impacts its velocity and capacity for wealth creation”, the productivity of the real and other sectors of the economy.
LCCI President, Asiwaju Michael Olawale-Cole made the condemnation yesterday in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen.
Rationalizing the position that Nigerian economy is primarily cash-based, Olawale-Cole established that over 80 per cent of transactions in volume terms are conducted via physical exchange of the Naira.
Asiwaju Olawale-Cole submitted that the pervading, prolonged cash scarcity has put pressure on the business and household sectors, adding that businesses are facing critical existential challenges, including, “continuously rising inventory stockpiles, cautious production due to weakening demands, extensive supply chain issues”.
Other negative impacts of the policy he listed include: “rising interest rates, and lay-offs devastating hyperinflation, as well as weak Naira purchasing power, amongst others”.
“The most challenged are the MSMEs – a key driver of our economy. Some of them are not just strained but are folding up. Generally, much productive time, energy, and man-hours are wasted in unneeded long queues for cash. It is, unfortunately, a productivity downtime for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“This cannot be the desired position for any economy as it often leads to crippling effects on the economy – a fall in the GDP numbers, a drop in wealth creation, and a rise in the poverty measures, amongst others.
“Our democracy and our economy are fragile and need protection. The way things are going is very worrisome for the Organised Private Sector, and the Chamber is concerned about the state of affairs. NOW is the most auspicious time for the authorities concerned to help the situation.
“The economy can no longer withstand further stress, which may lead to a complete breakdown of our society” LCCI warned.