The ongoing naira scarcity has severely limited the production of food in Nigeria as farmers in rural areas now wait a long time to get the cash they need to facilitate the farming process.
Mr Ismail Olawale, a fellow at the National Agriculture Extension and Research Liaison Services (NEARLS), disclosed this on Tuesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
He stressed that the cash scarcity challenge is crippling Nigeria’s food chain and urged that cash flow should be released, whether old notes or new notes.
Cash is King: Olawale revealed that most Nigerian farmers reside in rural areas where cash is king. He further noted that the farmers lack the necessary technology required for cashless society. He said:
“The average Nigerian farmer resides in the rural areas and about 60 per cent of the rural areas have no bank facilities.What is mainly available for them are the PoS centres and other mobile apps that are not well regulated. These are not reliable banking systems.
“Sometimes, these PoS operators are mischievous and use the current Naira scarcity to cheat these farmers.They make these exchanges miserable for these farmers. The situation exposes farmers to counterfeit and fake money. Which makes farmers run at a loss.”
Crippling activities: He warned that the policy has grossly affected the movement of farmers and has crippled the sector as farmers need cash to transport their products before they perish.
“There is information out there that transporters are not ready to accept the old Naira notes whereas the new notes are scarce.
“These have grossly affected the movement of farmers and their produce from one point to another, thereby crippling agriculture activities,”
In case you missed it: The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) warned that businesses are suffering the consequences of CBN’s currency management policy lapses.
The LCCI added it does not see any value in this if the scarcity of the new Naira notes persists. Dr Chinyere Alumona said that when redesigned Naira notes were launched in December, expectations were high for a smooth transition, however, Nigerians now regret as expectations have been dashed with business deals impeded and time and value lost.
“While banks have endeavoured to meet the current demands of customers through automatic teller machines and electronic transfers, Naira scarcity has rendered their efforts ineffective.Businesses are suffering the consequences of the CBN currency management policy lapses.
“Regarding the deadline extension for phasing out old notes, the chamber does not see any value in this if the scarcity of the new Naira notes persists.”
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