Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expressed concern on Friday about the difficulty Nigerians are having in obtaining the new naira notes.
Osinbajo met with some FinTech players to discuss potential solutions to the crisis.
To address the worrying situation, he urged regulators and banks to send more FinTechs and money agents to the hinterlands.
“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 an interactive session with a few FinTech investors and ecosystem players, the Vice President stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks should collaborate with all FinTechs that have mobile money agents, rather than just a few of them, in order to reach the most remote areas of the country.
“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,” the vice president said.
In response to some of the concerns raised by the redesign of the naira notes, the Osinbajo stated that “more disturbing is the fact that after depositing your old notes, there are no new notes, so people everywhere in the urban and rural areas simply have no money.”