Anambra State Traders Struggle with Cashless Policy and Illegal Revenue Collectors

Anambra State Traders Struggle with Cashless Policy and Illegal Revenue Collectors

Traders in Anambra state, who are members of the Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA), are currently experiencing great difficulties since the implementation of the naira redesign policy and cashless economy by the Federal Government in January. The traders have reported that the policy has significantly impacted their businesses, making it challenging to buy goods and supply them to customers due to a lack of cash and instability in banking services and network connectivity.

The Patron of ASMATA, Chief Jude Nwankwo, expressed his concern about the policy and its negative effects on traders. He noted that although the policy has not achieved its desired targets, traders have been the worst affected, struggling to access cash to purchase their goods. Furthermore, banks have been debiting accounts without crediting the account beneficiaries and vice versa, making it even harder for traders to conduct their businesses.

Chief Nwankwo, who is also the President of the Building Materials market, stated that the naira redesign policy, cashless economy, and vote buying prevention have caused unprecedented hardship for Nigerians. He argued that the country is not yet ready for a cashless economy, and many people do not know how to operate the machines required to transact their businesses. Queues are still long in banks, and the network problem frustrates money transfers, making it difficult for customers to withdraw the little amounts banks dispense.

In addition, Nwankwo lamented that many sick Nigerians have died due to a lack of adequate Medicare, arising from an acute scarcity of cash. Although the situation has reportedly improved, queues and network problems still persist.

Chief Nwankwo also discussed the issue of illegal revenue collectors operating in Anambra state. He described the situation as worrisome, and the traders have deposited as much as N30 million to the state government as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to prevent touts from coming into the market and causing confusion and disaffection in the name of collecting IGR from the traders for the government. Nwankwo argued that the payment of the N30 million IGR was necessary to prevent touts from committing crimes, which include robbing at gun-point, kidnapping people, and other atrocities.

The traders have requested that the government refunds them since the collection of levies on vehicles for loading and offloading in the markets has been suspended. Chief Nwankwo commended Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo for his relentless efforts in fighting crimes and criminality in the state, noting that crime has reduced drastically since he took office.

Regarding the launch of the Clean Green Sustainable Anambra program by Governor Soludo, Chief Nwankwo welcomed the initiative as it would make the state cleaner. He condemned the dumping of waste into the gutters and stated that offenders, if caught, would face the wrath of the law.

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