My Diagnosis Of Nigeria’s Cash Crisis
It is my sincere observation that CBN wants to use 1 stone to kill 3 birds, it wants to tame corruption, drive cashless policy which will tame corruption and maybe tame some politicians. Interestingly, scarcity is an element of currency. CBN reportedly minted not more than 500 billion new Naira notes and confirmed deposits of over N2 trillion old notes.
Arguably, 500 billion Naira might be little to some monetary economists considering our population and demands but not bad as “first batch of disbursement” to limit inflation by making cash over-available but banks betrayed and played the CBN.
Large chunk of the new notes might have been disbursed to the elites or hoarded for them while citizens and POS merchants struggle for the rest. CBN will suffer such betrayal or sabotage because it lacks a government owned “retail banking arm” like Bank of China.
Infact, CBN cannot maximize it’s regulatory weapon to enforce because it has become “an extension of private sector banking” considering the culture of appointing it’s heads from the private banks, worms can’t swallow worms you know.
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CBN also failed to prepare the digital infrastructures to accommodate alternative cashless banking or maybe private banks deliberately betrayed in that aspect too.
Hence, CBN should retreat tactically, review and buy more time while it sharpens it’s “regulatory sword”.