A group, College of Bishops, Imams and Clergy Councils (CBICC) has commended the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the extension of the deadline of facing out the old currency notes.
The group also charged Nigerians to take advantage of the extension and deposit their old notes to the commercial banks and other outlets opened for this purpose.
Convener of the group, Bishop Abel King, in a statement signed and made available to journalists in Abuja urged Nigerians to consider the reasons given for the policy bordering on security, curbing vote buying amongst others above the temporary perceived hitches.
Recall that the Federal Government through the CBN announced last year of its decision to redesign the N200, N500 and N100 denominations, a decision it said would help implement better monetary policy as well as enrich the collective memory of Nigeria’s heritage.
There has been outcry over the non-availability of the new notes but the group encouraged citizens to embrace the cashless policy been championed by the Buhari administration saying it will go a long way in curbing corruption and other criminalities.
“We are aware of the difficulties citizens are going through as a result of this policy. We are equally affected and wish the pains were less. However, in view of the far reaching advantages of this policy, we encourage Nigerians to look at the positives the redesigning of the Naira notes seek to achieve. The government has rightly informed that a huge chunk of the nation’s currency is outside the banking sector. We should be worried about the economic implications of such acts. We are also not oblivious of chunks of cash in the hands of terrorists and bandits. This is why we encourage citizens to embrace the new normal of using less cash but do more of electronic transactions as it is done in other civilized climes.
“If limiting the flow of cash will benefit the economy and make kidnapping for ransom and other crimes tractable, the economy will boom and criminality reduced, we should all commend the CBN rather than dissipate energy criticizing the redesigned Naira, we should be encouraged by the advantages the policy brings.
“We call on all well-meaning citizens, traditional rulers, the religious, and opinion leaders amongst others to educate their subject on the advantages of banking especially the unbanked population of our society”, the statement added.