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Naira Scarcity: NLC warns FG against mass protest

by Akeem Adeyemi
19 unions shut workspaces, join NLC nationwide strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) raised concerns on Tuesday regarding the prolonged cash scarcity in the country, just five days before Christmas.

I have NLC President Joe Ajaero, in a statement, emphasized the serious implications of the situation on citizens and urged urgent measures to address it.

Despite assurances from the Central Bank of Nigeria, bank customers continue to face difficulties accessing cash for their daily needs.

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has also warned the Federal Government and the Central Bank that a mass public protest is imminent if the naira shortage is not addressed promptly.

Ajaero expressed dissatisfaction, stating, “This time, there is no discernible reason by the Central Bank of Nigeria, nor any explanation from the government on why Nigerians should be subjected to this level of suffering once again in 2023.” He criticized the reasons given, such as an increase in fake notes and naira hoarding, deeming them unacceptable.

The NLC leader questioned the government’s anti-corruption agenda, highlighting that if ill-gotten wealthholders were hoarding cash to avoid detection, it indicated a failure in the fight against corruption.

Addressing the impact on citizens, the statement revealed that Nigerians are spending more time in banks trying to access their own money, affecting public confidence in the banking system. The NLC expressed concern over citizens being charged exorbitant fees by Point of Sale (PoS) operators for accessing their funds.

The NLC urged the government to take decisive action to alleviate the cash crunch, inject liquidity into the economy, and ensure transparent communication regarding steps being taken to address the issue.

The statement also emphasized that Nigerians want access to their money and called for improved banking services to facilitate public access.

As the Yuletide season approaches, the NLC stressed the need for immediate measures to mitigate the impact of the cash shortage on citizens and maintain a vibrant economy.

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