The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), an umbrella body of Nigerian pastoralists, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to mainstream the interest of pastoralists in the implementation of a cashless policy.
The National Public Relations Officer, Malam Muhammad Nura, made the call in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
Nura also called on the CBN to extend the deadline for the change of currency to cater to those pastoralists and small-scale farmers living in rural areas with no access to banking infrastructure.
He said that the association observed that the policy had crippled many of its members because of the insurgency in the North East and banditry in North West and other related security issues.
He said those in the livestock business and who were excluded from the current banking system in the country, coupled with the debilitating network challenges and economic activities in the remotest areas, had been badly affected.
He said that MACBAN supported the Federal Government in its current policy that sought to stem money laundering, terrorism financing, unregulated liquidity in the market and to curtail the use of money in politics.
“However, reports from our members across the country show that unless the policy is modified, livestock markets across the states will be crippled as most of the small livestock holders can’t accept money transfers for now.
“Now that An average cow costs between N250,000 to N350,000, far above the cash transaction allowed by the CBN, The question is how will pastoralists who don’t have bank accounts be paid when they had no access to banks and POS service in the rural areas?
“MACBAN states its members are some of the biggest victims to the security challenges in the country in the last eight years, have lost over 10,000 of its members and 4.5 million livestock due to insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West and cattle rustling in the North Central.”
Nura stated that it was time for CBN to come out and tell pastoralists and those who lived on the fringes how they could be mainstreamed so that all Nigerians were made to share the gains and not only the pains.
“MACBAN regrets that policies designed for urbanized Nigerians are imposed on rural people who lack the entire infrastructure for seamless inclusion into the mainstream economy.
“The sensitization for the new policy ought to have been well thought out after the take-off of the program. This is what we as a body intend to hear and be engaged in enlightening our members rather than expose them to the dangers of hearsay, misinformation, and insinuations that could lead to induced rebellion.
“While this policy has its long-time benefits, let the CBN ease the difficulty that has arisen now.”