A public official who deliberately misled his boss should be fired for the consequences of wrong advice. And a leader also has the responsibility to scrutinise such advice or consult widely before giving uncritical and automatic approval to any policy decision that does more harm than good.
The bungled implementation of the cashless policy is a perfect example of how wrong advice can result in disastrous consequences. Let’s not be carried away by the so-called good intentions logic. Even the devil can use good intentions to defend himself. Good intention is not a pass mark; it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for failure.
The CBN governor is not upfront about the issue. Let him tell Nigerians how much new naira notes he printed. He should also publish the amount of cash released to each bank on a daily basis. Public business shouldn’t be shrouded in secrecy. Government business should be conducted in the open.
It’s even naive for anyone to think that this policy favours the masses. Emefiele and our privileged politicians have access to cash. It’s the ordinary Nigerians who are suffering from the consequences of the botched implementation of the cashless policy. The deadline set for the implementation of this policy was unrealistic. Emefiele gave the president the impression that we had enough infrastructure to handle the implementation of the policy and that is not true.
To insist on doing something that is causing more harm to the people is the height of arrogant insensitivity. Any policy that does more harm than good can’t be deemed a success. Tell me how this bungled policy has reduced inflation in the country when a bag of rice is being sold at N45,000, despite the so-called cashless policy? When people have less money, prices are supposed to come down because of lower demands. This policy has no significant positive effects bringing down inflation. It’s even insane to think you can impose a cashless policy in three months in a country with notorious infrastructure challenges and high levels of illiteracy among its rural populations.
Mohammed Zagga is a journalist based in Abuja.