Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday expressed worry over the difficulty faced by Nigerians in getting the new naira notes.
Osinbajo met with some players in the FinTech space to explore possible ways of mitigating the hardship.
He urged regulators and the banks to deploy more FinTechs and money agents to the hinterlands to address the worrying situation.
“You need cash to pay for transport. For instance, in Abuja how do you take ‘drop or along’ or use a Keke NAPEP without cash, or buy foodstuff on the road or in canteens, or even buying recharge cards?” he stated.
“Parents with kids in public schools give money daily to their children for lunch, most commerce is informal, so you need cash for most things,” he said.
During the interactive session with a few FinTech investors and ecosystem players, the Vice President said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the commercial banks should work with all FinTechs that have mobile money agents, not just some of them, in order to reach the farthest places in the country.
He added, “It seems to me that banks must engage their mobile money operators – FinTechs with mobile money licenses and many of them have micro-finance bank licenses now and already have a network of mobile money agents or human banks or human ATMs (as they are sometimes called) who are responsible to them, and they can supervise by themselves. They can do currency swaps and open bank accounts.”
Speaking further about some of the concerns arising from the redesign of the naira notes, the VP stated that “more disturbing is the fact that after depositing your old notes, there are no new notes, so people everywhere in the urban areas and rural areas simply have no money.”