Nigerian economy ‘loses N20 trillion’ as 70% of cash siphoned off economy – CPPE

Emefiele visits Buhari in his home town of Daura.

The Center for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has said that the Nigerian economy has lost N20 trillion as 70% of the cash has been siphoned off from the economy.

The center also said that the prolonged acute cash crunch experienced in the country has not only crippled economic activities in the country but is now a major risk to the livelihood of most Nigerians.

Yusuf noted that retail transactions across sectors have become nerve-wracking and unsettling as payment system challenges continue. He said since the onset of the cash crisis, the Nigerian economy has lost an estimated N20 trillion.

These losses occurred as a result of the slowdown of economic activities, the paralysis of trade activities, the suffocation of the informal economy, the contraction of the agricultural sector and the paralysis of the rural economy. There are also corresponding job losses in the hundreds of thousands.

The CPPE said millions of citizens have slipped into destitution as a result of the disruptions and hardships wrought by the currency realignment policy, particularly the siphoning off of over 70% of cash in the economy. It said Nigerians have not been so traumatized in recent history.

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In a press release from its CEO, Dr. Muda Yusuf, the center said the economy is gradually coming to a standstill due to the collapse of payment systems across all platforms.

  • “Digital platforms perform sub-optimally due to congestion; physical cash is unavailable because the CBN has siphoned away over 70% of the cash in the economy; and the expected relaxation of the Supreme Court judgment has not failed to materialise. The citizens are therefore put in a dilemma,” he said.

He stated that the commercial banks claim that the CBN has not officially communicated to them the judgment of the Supreme Court for any actions; the president has maintained a worrying silence on the verdict; the women and men of the market are waiting to hear from President Buhari or the CBN Governor on the legal tender status of old currency notes.

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  • “Strangely, there is an apparent reluctance or unwillingness on the part of the Federal Government and the CBN to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court. This is very disturbing and inexplicable,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Nigerians continue to groan at the hardship inflicted by the acute cash shortage, amid the rejection of old notes by market operators, the refusal of banks to accept the old notes, silence by the President on the Supreme Court judgement; and lack of official statement from the CBN on the matter.

  • “Apparently, President Buhari did not seem to appreciate the seriousness and extent of the suffering and pain Nigerians have experienced since the inception of the currency realignment policy. We again implore the President to immediately intervene to put an end to the devastating and traumatic results of an oppressive, ill-conceived and ill-implemented currency realignment policy. We request the following immediate actions”
  • “The CBN should be directed to immediately inform the Nigerian public that the old currency notes (along with the new notes) will remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, in line with the Supreme Court judgment.”
  • “The CBN should be directed to officially communicate the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment to the banks and confirm compliance with the judgment.”
  • “The President should publicly empathize with Nigerians in the unwarranted and inexcusable pain and suffering that the currency conversion policy has caused them.”

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