A leader who is truly committed to the general good should be willing to admit mistakes and reverse their decisions when and where necessary.
A leader should be humble and open-minded enough to acknowledge that things can change and sometimes a different approach is needed. A leader demonstrates strong character and shows genuine commitment to the well-being of those he leads.
He should go a step further to apologise; this shows accountability and a willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions, which can increase trust and respect among the people. A leader who is willing to change their stance for the greater good is a true leader
A responsible leader should be willing to acknowledge any negative consequences of their policies and make changes as needed to mitigate them. The goal should always be to implement policies that are in the best interests of the public and minimise any harm or discomfort they may cause
This recent cash swap policy, despite being well thought out (and a good policy I must add), is causing a lot of pain to Nigerians and it must be re-evaluated and revised.
The posturing of the Central Bank of Nigeria won’t cut it. First it was Ibadan, Oyo State and more recently Abeokuta, Ogun State, residents who ventilated their anger over inability to get the new notes. The President needs to act quickly before the protests spread nationwide and throw the country into anarchy.
Introducing new naira notes is a complex process that requires careful planning and coordination between multiple government agencies and the private sector. The manner the CBN implemented the policy shows only one thing; unpreparedness. I don’t think the CBN employed a comprehensive and holistic approach in the policy’s implementation. I am not sure there was enough input from relevant stakeholders to ensure this policy is effective and equitable.
Truth is, Nigeria is a country with a large informal structure and the timing of a cash swap policy such as this will always have a significant impact on the economy albeit negative. Most transactions conducted in this country are done in cash (I stand to be corrected) and a sudden disruption to this system will affect the informal sector. The timing of policies such as this should always be carefully considered and prolonged if necessary.
A long-lasting implementation period will give the CBN time to be adequately prepared, provide the necessary infrastructure and give individuals and businesses time to adjust to the changes. This will help to ensure a smooth transition and make everybody participate in the formal economy.
It is important to balance the need for a gradual implementation with the need for swift action to address underlying problems this policy is meant to address such as money laundering, tax evasion, counterfeiting et al, but it should not be at the expense of the people’s (social) livelihood. I leave it to the government to figure out a multi-pronged approach to strike a balance that will not be detrimental to the survival of Nigerians.
Can the old and new naira exist simultaneously until the CBN gets its policy implementation right? Can the CBN significantly extend the deadline for old notes till it gets its acts together? Where are the lower naira denominations or were they redesigned too? Does the CBN need to educate the masses more so they can understand this policy and its importance? Should there be collaboration with financial institutions to ensure banking services such as ATM and PoS are available in more locations? Does the CBN have to be told that increasing the supply of cash will likely help alleviate the hardship people are facing?
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari needs to know that all is not well with Nigerians at the moment. Nigerians want access to their money. And that is not too much to ask for!