Re: Nigeria 2023- Nigerians, mercilessly beaten by cashless policy

Nigeria is undoubtedly a unique country in all ramifications. Nigerians have unlimited resilience and unshakable survival instincts. In 2017, I was a visiting scholar at an American university and had a fruitful interaction with some American professors and they were attracted to come to Nigeria for a collaborative project. All arrangements were made on the type of project (agriculture and nutrition), how to secure a grant, and the potential number of persons to benefit. At the last minute, their embassy gave security advice against their visit to Nigeria and particularly the proposed project area.

Despite the security report, the team leader was so determined to move ahead with our plan and damn the consequences until his family members were made to prevail over him. He called to apologise and then asked me whether the Nigerian security situation was worse than that of Afghanistan or other war-ravaged countries. He was ostensibly confused about the two stories of Nigeria between my story of Nigeria and the story of Nigeria from the other side. For me, Nigeria’s biggest problem has been that of leadership and I am happy that Nigerians are so determined to contribute to leadership change.

The doggedness, perseverance, and resilience of Nigerians were demonstrated in last Saturday’s presidential election. To hell with the cashless policy and fuel scarcity, and the threats from IPOB and the like. Nigerians massively came out and voted for their preferred candidates within the limited choices of the political parties-imposed or manipulated candidates. The candidates were not the best out of over 200 million Nigerians but one has to choose between the “devil and deep blue sea”, between “evil and lesser evil”, and between “slim of survival and dead-end”. Nigeria will soon come out from these teething challenges and lead Africa to a glorious future. This will happen sooner than later.

Last week’s piece on the implementation of a cashless policy brought out one of the weaknesses of Nigerian leadership that has slowed down the nation’s development. Some of my readers reacted to the piece and I wish to share the selected and edited reactions with you for a clearer and wider perspective of the issue. Happy reading.

Prof., This is one of my MOST cherished articles ever. I will not only treasure it but will forward it to several platforms. This article made me shed tears… The experiences of our two professors at the fuel filling station/POS wahala… Imagine Professors!!!! Professors fa!!!! Begging for what he had already and yet was turned down and disappointedly left the scene on account of the corrupt system. As my tears were rolling down my cheeks, the story of the death of a mother in labor and the unborn baby further devasted me. May their soul rest in perfect peace and may God comfort the husband and the entire family, amen.
Prof., thank you so much for all your efforts in putting your thoughts and research on white and black for the benefit of society. May God rewards your labor abundantly. If you are to be a Professor of Economics, Political Science, or Mass Communication, I wonder how genius you would have been. I request and appeal to this house especially the Experts in Political Science, Economics Mass Communication, etc to find time and share their knowledge and expertise with the public by putting their taught in black and white in this era of social media especially at this crucial moment in our history as a nation. It may help in shaping our society. Thank you so much for this piece.
Professor D. Samaila, Zaria

Dear Prof. Othman
As usual, very interestingly educating piece. My concern and surprise are the redesigns for N200, N500, and N1000 notes but why the N5, N10, and N100 notes are not available as well? Ordinarily, these should be dispensed and available over the counter, at ATMs, etc. That could have lessened the sufferings of the poor masses.
Prof. A. A. Muhammad, Zaria

Well done Prof., the problem is that those in power neither respect the constitution nor regard the populace, otherwise some measures would have been taken before implementing/imposing the policy.
Yunusa Dahiru Matallawa

Prof, you are similarly good as a journalist. You have said it all. People are depressed because of this situation we found ourselves. Truly, nobody knows when it will end or be solved, we, the masses only looked to Almighty God to come to our aid.
Christiana Iyabo Yaya

May Allah continue to bless you, Sir, with wisdom and knowledge to continue with such a didactic write-up, for sure they are making the desired impacts.
Aliyu Umar Ahmad, Zaria

Well done and well said Prof. May Allah always put you in the right direction to say the truth in your weekly Articles, amen. May your ink never dry.
Yusuf Abdullahi Kakale

Prof, we have taken loans upon loans to the tune of trillions of Naira. Our leaders have no option but to comply with the conditionalities of the West, IMF, and USA.
As per unwarranted hardship, everyone is in for it. There were frustrations, self-belittling and what have you, associated with the policy. For the POS attendants and bankers, it is business as usual. Everyone is experiencing it. We just have to bear it, it has not come to stay, and will soon be history.

We are a bit in a rush to implement the policy and we did not make adequate preparation. Notwithstanding, that should not stop Nigeria from going ahead. The policy was conceptualized ten years ago but could not be implemented due to our technological shortcomings. Moreover, the policy implementation should not be longer than necessary as being done in some parts of Europe. Here, corruption and bravery are minimal. If Nigeria does as in Europe, hoarding and parallel trading of new notes will go unabated. So, giving the policy a time frame was so far the best
Jibrin Abubakar Musa

Well done my prof, Nigerians are enthralling the misery path of the policy due to improper planning.
Sanusi Sulaiman

Well done Sir (Prof).
More inks to your golden pen. Worthy of reading and sharing.
Abdullahi Abubakar

Anytime this Government initiates anything it must throw our people into untold hardship. They will never remember to put any palliative measures in place. Thank you, Prof. For bringing the truth to light. It is only God that can save us from this Government.
Kingsley Ajaegbu, Port Harcourt

Prof, you are indeed amazing, you always gave us a comprehensive and comprehended topic to read. You are simply the best.
Shurabil Idris

You are a great professor, a reservoir of knowledge, a true nationalist, a political philosopher as well as a patriotic citizen who touches all angles. May Allah help you in all your endeavors sir
Kabir Adamu

My Prof, your golden pen exactly got everything right but howbeit, but Nigerian factors take the lead. God bless my Prof
Yakubu Yunusa Sakpe