In Lagos yesterday, at the CBN’s ‘Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development Fair, which had a collective attendance of farmers, traders, SMEs and others from the informal sector.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) urged members of the public to desist from ill handling of the nation’s currency, the Naira.
The central bank stressed that the cost of maintaining the naira note was expensive, while also urging members of the informal sector to embrace the various e-payment options in the economy.
The Assistant Director, Currency Operations Department, CBN, Mr. Benedict Maduagwu said that there are so many interventions by the CBN aimed at promoting the well-being and also in diversifying the economy. He listed a few.
“We have the Anchor Borrowers’ scheme which is a wonderful initiative. We also have the MSME intervention scheme of N220 billion which 60 percent is reserved for women. We also have the youth empowerment development program and we are also promoting cashless.
“The way currency is being handled, it is being abused and the cost is huge. As at 2005 to 2010, it was over N192 billion and as I speak it is more than that. So the effort in the cashless policy and also telling people on how to carry clean naira are all aimed at reduction of the huge cost in currency.”
He also added that this sensitization fair would be a nationwide event, in order to enlighten members of the public on various reforms made by the central bank. This is expected to improve financial stability and economic development.
The Deputy Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mr. Olu Vincent added that: “this sensitisation to the public throws light on what CBN has been doing federally over the past few years to stimulate the economy to produce a base for economic development since the volatility in the oil price market. This is to divert the economy from oil to non-oil export, which everyone is clamouring we should lay more emphasis on non-oil export.
“There have been various interventions that the central bank has put in place as part of the proactive measures of the bank in stimulating the growth of the economy. So what we doing basically this period is to sensitize the public about what the bank has been doing underground and also sensitize the public about their rights while relating with their banks.
“We are moving from oil to non-oil and that the strength of the economy is actually in the agricultural sector and other SMEs.”