It is now common knowledge that businesses, especially upcoming startups, are groaning and smarting under the harsh realities of the cashless policy currently championed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
So far, owing to CBN's cashless policy, cash is neither accessible to citizens nor corporates and e-banking is nothing to write home about.
Today's Nigerians are indeed surviving under miraculous circumstances.
As a fallout of this trend, a group, Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (AYE), has said the new naira/cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria has destroyed many businesses.
In an open letter to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and signed by the President of AYE, Dr. Summy Smart-Francis, he lamented that the policies made it extremely difficult for individuals and businesses to gain access to cash, saying the cost of living and doing business skyrocketed, and many small business owners ran into losses and debts.
It added that a cashless economy was supposed to make life easier, but this came with “untold hardship” as it turned into a “nightmare.”
The open letter, titled, ‘You have killed many businesses in Nigeria – Open letter to Emefiele (CBN Governor)’, reads, “Long queues at banks’ ATMs and people even sleeping there overnight were a common sight; workers could not get to their workplaces, some either trek long distances as they couldn’t get cash for transportation fare.
“Over the past few weeks, I witnessed firsthand, the harsh impact of the cashless policy on businesses and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, as many entrepreneurs and members of our community complained bitterly, with thousands of businesses ruined.
“Your policies made it extremely difficult for individuals and businesses to gain access to cash, which was a huge blow to the entrepreneurial community and led to the inability of people to access essential goods and services.
"The cost of living and doing business skyrocketed, and many small business owners ran into losses and debts.
“Governor Emefiele, your actions, and inactions have killed many businesses in Nigeria.
"Farmers recorded massive losses as they watched their farm produce get rotten before their very eyes, due to unavailability of the legal tender for transactions.”
Francis advised Emefiele to tread more carefully in the future when implementing policies, and most importantly, listen to the plight of the people.
“While we continue to educate entrepreneurs of the benefits and operations of a cashless society in our organization, adequate time should be factored in to be able to spread this literacy across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria."
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