By EZEKIEL OBI, Abuja –
As the scarcity of Naira currency crisis hit harder, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has charged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review its new notes apportioned ratio policy and also to collaborate with law enforcement agencies in monitoring Agent Cash Swap operators and bank officials against irregularities in their activities.
Recall that following the Central Bank directives, Bankers committee on Wednesday issued a communique stating that the new Naira notes allocated to banks shall be apportioned in the ratio 40:30:30 for Agent Cash Swaps, Over-the-Counter and ATMs respectively.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Sunday by HEDA’s Chairman, Olarenwaju Suraju, the civil society organization maintained that it is essential for the apex bank to review the policy to address different circumstances ensure sufficient release of cash into the system, and further take instant action on Agent Cash Swap operators’ activities, ensuring that the purpose of the exercise is not defeated by corrupt Agent Cash Swap operators and bank officials as some are recently arrested by the anti corruption agencies.
According to Suraju, verified information gathered by the civil group indicates that some of the Agent Cash Swap operators are responsible for the selling of new notes to party makers abusing the currency and those reselling to ordinary users, while bank officials are irresponsibly preserving cash for politicians and bank owners.
He further urged the CBN for the policy review to consider Lagos and other metropolitan states by making more money available in banks to reduce the pressure and drama experience in the banking halls and ATM stands.
Suraju added, “The ratio should be reviewed to address different circumstances. Lagos and other metropolitan states should have more money through ATM and counter while rural areas can have more through the strictly monitored agents.