The former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has disclosed that the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Deposit Money Banks (DMB) don’t have the infrastructure to implement the Naira redesign policy successfully.
According to Peterside, if the CBN had the infrastructure in place, the Naira redesign policy will not have been trailed by the chaos that has threatened its implementation.
He said if the CBN was equipped for the implementation, it should be able to detect how much commercial banks have disbursed to customers and have checks and balances to prevent hoarding by the financial institutions.
“So having made the point that I don’t think CBN go through the execution very well. Even the role of the banks is by directional. The banks (themselves) should have (the) infrastructure in place for that transition.
“Most banks, their infrastructure is not robust enough for this transition. There are also behavioural challenges or cultural challenges.
“They keep this money, they want to maximise profit. Now if the CBN has thought through it, there will be a lot of checks and balances in such a way that banks most communicate regularly (that) this is how much we got, these are the customers that received it,” Peterside said.
Speaking hypothetically, the former House of Representatives member said the CBN should be able to say: “Oh we released N100 billion to the following banks, this is what they got”, “Yesterday, we released this, this is how much has been disbursed to one million customers”.”
He said if the CBN was properly tracking the funds and informing Nigerians, the citizens will not act out in fear: “The implication of that is that it will build confidence, reduce anxiety, it will reduce uncertainty. Now when you have ambiguity (and) uncertainty, it drives people to negative behaviour, we don’t know what will come next, so we begin to misbehave.
“CBN is not providing sufficient information at all, that I’m pretty sure. So their planning was defective. They didn’t do enough modelling of what will happen when we introduce this.
“Their monitoring, I doubt its robust. There’s a joint committee where you have the SSS, the Police, bankers and all of those. It certainly not going to be sufficient to monitor the whole country even when you start from the banks.”
Peterside advised that the CBN should try to make sense of the reason the Naira redesign policy implementation failed, be flexible by fixing the problem as it arises and also constantly inform the people to keep the public’s confidence up.
“So in summary, the real blame is with the CBN. Today we are in crisis, let’s not dwell on the area of blame. How do we go forward, one, is that CBN should try to make sense out of this whole situation, where are the pinpoints?
“Two, communicate more. There is no sufficient information. Absolutely no sufficient information. Then in managing crisis, you must be dynamic or flexible.
“You can’t be fixated. If you have discovered that the infrastructure is not enough, you can deal with all of those things simultaneously,” the former NIMASA boss said.