Immediate past governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed has commended the new monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The former commissioner for finance described the move as being capable of strengthening the nation’s democracy.
While addressing pressmen in Ilorin on Tuesday, Ahmed, opined that the new policy will also standardise the country’s electoral process starting from next year.
The financial expert stated that the physical money is designed for exchange of goods and services and not meant for store of value, noting that a lot of people are hoarding more cash outside the banking system.
He further described the CBN monetary policy as a blockbuster, adding that money had been used to influence elections outcomes over the years, thereby the choice of the Nigerian masses in the selection of their representatives.
“As far as I am concerned, it’s a good policy. It will help the CBN control and ensure that its monetary policy are functional within the premises of what’s available in cash, so that they can manage and monitor the flow of cash in the system.
“As a keen observer of our current economic situation, you’ll all agree with me that we have more cash outside the banking industry than you have in the banking industry.
“And what’s cash? Cash is meant for intermediation for exchange of goods and services and not meant for store of value. When it becomes store of value, there’s trouble. It means somebody is holding on to what should be going round just because it’s available to be held.
“Now, the CBN is saying take this thing back to the bank. If you want to hold it let it be with the custodians; deposit banks. When you need it, you withdraw for exchange of goods and services.
“Secondly, I see it as a master stroke. This is because money has been in the forefront of the nation’s elections. The implications in that it has beclouded our capacity to question those who want to come and take responsibility of ruling us. It has also beclouded our capacity to question what programmes they have for us or to see whether they truly deserve to be voted in or not because we get beclouded with money taken upfront.
“For the first time, this change in naira will make it a bit difficult for cash to be available as it were for that purpose. So, what the policy is telling us is that money will not be at the forefront in determining how we select leaders again.
“If that’s one key thing we’re able to achieve, it’s a way forward. Though, all we desire can’t be achieved in one sweep as it takes time to perfect it. US overcome ballot box snatching in the 50s.
“We’ll overcome ours too with time. Every policy at taking us inching towards it should be embraced. We shouldn’t be hopeless. It’s beyond individual interests. It’s about selflessness to strengthen our democracy,” he said.
Ahmed, however, chided the AbdulRahman-led administration in the state for deviating from policies put in place by past administrations where he said people could have benefitted from.
“I take governance from stepwise perspective, where benefits are created for majority of people in the state. Governance should be seen from continuity perspective. As it is today, I see a lot of disconnect in some of the policies we put in place where by now people would have been benefiting from.
“This disconnect usually lead to wastage of public resources as projects are not taken to completion level where people could benefit from. There are incongruences in policy application and programme development,” he said.
He advised the APC government to key into programmes met on ground towards reviewing and reforming them, where applicable, for overall benefits of the state and to safeguard public funds.
He also faulted the state’s health programmes, education policies, economy, and infrastructure, stressing there was no connection between the old and new programmes.