The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises has lauded the restraining order of the supreme court on the February 10 deadline for the old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes to stop being legal tenders.
It stated that the order will restore normalcy to economic activities, especially in the distributive trade sector, the informal sector and the rural economy.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Managing Director of CPPE, Muda Yusuf, made available to The PUNCH on Wednesday.
The development is coming hours after the Supreme Court temporarily halted the move by the Federal Government to ban the use of the old naira notes from February 10, 2023.
A seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro had granted an interim injunction against the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government, allowing the old N200, N500 and N1000 to remain legal tender beyond February 10 deadline until the case is fully disposed.
According to Yusuf, the CBN cash swap model and timeline were greatly flawed given the huge population of over 200 million and the large informal sector which accounts for over 40% of the GDP.
He stated that ordinary citizens were the biggest victims of the unspeakable disruption and hardship inflicted by the impractical deadline given by the CBN on cash swap.
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He said, “The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise welcomes the restraining order of the supreme court on the timeline for the currency swap. We believe this would restore normalcy to economic activities, especially in the distributive trade sector, the informal sector and the rural economy. It would also douse current social tension and the risk of social unrest in the country.
“We affirm our position that N2.6 trillion currency in circulation is not too much for the Nigerian economy with a GDP of about N250 trillion. Any attempt to arbitrarily cut it will create a crisis. It is unacceptable that citizens are denied access to their cash deposited for purposes of cash swap.”
Continuing, Yusuf advised the apex bank to immediately allow the old and new currency note to co-circulate for a minimum of six months.
He further recommended that all cash mopped up should be released allowing citizens unfettered access to their money.
“In compliance with the Supreme Court order, we urge the CBN to immediately allow the old and new currency notes to co-circulate until such a time when the old notes are gradually and completely withdrawn.
“All the cash that has been mopped up should be released to their owners. Citizens that have lodged their cash for purposes of the cash swap should be allowed unfettered access to their money,” he concluded.
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