Managing director of Financial Derivatives, Bismarck Rewane, has proffered solutions to end the scarcity of cash in the country.
Despite the naira swap policy, many Nigerians have found it difficult to obtain the new notes.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) attributed the scarcity to hoarding by citizens.
Speaking in a Channels Television interview on Friday, Rewane said the federal government needs to do damage control to ensure improved supply of the naira.
Rewane proposed that the solution should take two forms: printing more notes for an increased supply and rebuilding citizens’ confidence.
“We can talk from now to tomorrow. It doesn’t change. We are on the ground. What we need to do is damage control. Damage control means that two aspects: print more money – the mint or whatever it is – overseas to give us all of this supply and instill confidence,” he said.
“Because if you keep on moving deadlines the day when something happens, nobody comes out. So it is important. Let us not underestimate the importance of having discipline in government.”
Rewane said instead of blaming the government or policymakers, the situation on the ground needs to be addressed.
“We can blame ourselves from now till tomorrow. There is what we call false error, but for Nigeria, and I say categorically, this is set point, break point, match point, championship point. If you get it wrong now, it is over,” he said.
“I do not think blaming anybody would solve any problem right now. It’s an exercise in futility.
You can blame A or blame C, the point is that the people in this country today are under pressure because the government and the policymakers are under pressure as to their credibility.
“Let’s fix that rather than blaming people. Then it becomes a lynch mob.”
Speaking further, Rewane said the government must establish a culture of meeting its deadlines.
He said the effects of the current cash scarcity cannot be reversed, adding that “all you have to do is to absorb it”.
“Thank God the elections are only 16 days away between now and then. Maybe they would have put enough money into the system and we have not damaged the economy,” he said.
He said it is important for governments to ensure that the credibility of governance is preserved.
“When governments make pronouncements and give deadlines, they must be obeyed and that is the important thing,” he said.
“The moment you have a situation where you keep on changing the frequency, what you will have is anarchy because nobody will believe you anymore.”
Although the CBN deadline elapsed on February 10, the federal government said it would obey the supreme court order restraining the apex bank from banning the use of old naira notes till February 15.