A former Governor of Edo State and one time National chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole has said that that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has no business curtailing corruption in elections conducted in the country.
Oshiomhole argued that there was no section of the CBN act empowering the apex bank to ensure free and fair elections.
He fumed that the naira redesign policy purported by the CBN to curb corruption and vote-buying during the 2023 elections was “senseless”.
The former Edo State Governor who noted that change of currency was not a new phenomenon berated the CBN’s approach in conducting the transition.
Speaking on Sunday night while fielding questions on Channels Television, Oshiomhole opined that the apex bank made no consultations before taking a decision.
He said, “There was no consultation, not even within the government, at least the Minister of Finance cried out and she warned that there could be economic consequences arising from this decision,” he said.
“But even worse is that you want me to change my old clothes by fire by force. I’m willing to do so… You told me to remove the old clothes that I’d need a new one. I’ve removed the old clothes but the new ones are not available, and you leave me naked. And then you tell me that I can’t take more than N20,000 from my own money, in a country in which…in part, because of the CBN monetary policies, which have led to massive devaluation, a bag of rice in naira terms costs N30,000. So, if you spend N35,000 or N30,000 to buy a bag of rice, CBN has a policy that says you can’t take more than N20,000, that is where the ATM is working.
Which means you will have to queue all day to take money enough to pay for half a bag. And if you need a whole bag, you have to queue another day to raise N40,000 to buy a bag of rice…this is not sensible.”
He noted that the CBN did not act in wisdom, adding that it was wrong for the apex bank to assume that every Nigerian was corrupt, stating that the CBN was not one of the institutions charged with the responsibility of ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
“To assume that every Nigerian is corrupt…and that this policy is meant to check corruption; the CBN is not part of the institutions charged with the responsibility of ensuring free, fair and credible elections. That is not in the Act establishing the CBN,” Oshiomhole added.