Obaseki meets with CBN officials and other banking stakeholders, addresses the naira crisis in Edo …supports FG’s cashless policy

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Branch Manager, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Benin City, Dr Beshiru Sanusi; Director, Risk Management, Central Bank of Nigeria, Blaise Ijebor; Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki; Benin City Branch Controller, CBN, Renner Jumbo, and Head, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Momodu Daudu, during a courtesy visit by Management of various banks, at the Government House in Benin City, on Monday, February 6, 2023

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, met with senior bank executives and representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday to discuss a long-term solution to the country’s and the state’s cash shortage.

After the private meeting at the Government House in Benin City, Obaseki spoke to the media and expressed his support for the Federal Government’s cashless policy while pleading for methods to make the transition easier.

He declared, “Today, I asked senior management of the State’s banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria to meet with the administration as we are concerned about the hardships and sufferings of the Edo people due to their inability to obtain cash through the State’s banking system.

“After careful consideration, we have reached the conclusion that it is best for our banking system to support the policy of making Nigeria’s economy paperless. The Federal Government’s plan to transform the country’s economy into a cashless one is not opposed by the Edo State Government.

To lessen public apprehension, Obaseki urged the federal government to implement the changes as smoothly and seamlessly as possible and to increase communication.

The governor encouraged residents of Edo to use alternate payment methods such as transfers or USSD codes in order to avoid more naira shortages in the state.

We would publish the names of POS operators in the State, said Obaseki. They are there to aid you with payment through transfer in addition to paying you in cash.

The residency identity card that enables you to make payments has been introduced by the Edo State Government. Working closely with the CBN, we will begin the full rollout to assist residents of Edo by the beginning of the following week.

“Unlike before, when we kept a lot of cash, we must convey to the citizens that they do not need to travel around with cash. There are ways to spend money without having a lot of it on hand. An economy without currency is emerging. It occurs in other nations for acquiring PMS, transportation, and other commodities and services. Instead than accepting cash payments, we should demand alternative forms of payment.

 He continued, “We will join the CBN and Bankers Committee to go over the State and inspect what is going on.”   We will establish a phone line to the public so that we can hear about their problems and respond accordingly until things return to normal. There is no need to cause conflict since Edo is a peaceful state and we must work together to find a solution. Nigeria is our nation, and we are obligated to safeguard and defend it.

Dr. Blaise Ijebor, Director of Risk Management at CBN Abuja, stated: “We want to promote a cashless environment in Nigeria because it benefits us. Since we are aware that some ATMs are not paying, I urge you to use alternative methods whenever you can. Within a day or two, we’ll try our best to ensure that everyone who needs cash can get it from an ATM.

He stated that the EFCC and ICPC are part of a monitoring team that is scouring the state to find individuals plotting to artificially devalue the naira. He continued, “We will discover these groups and deal with them to stabilize the situation. I urge the people of Edo to remain calm because the issue will soon be solved.

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