Currency redesign: I will resolve cash crunch plaguing Nigerians within one week – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari
Share This:

Following problems arising from the naira redesign and distribution, President Muhammadu Buhari has said he would in one week look into take a major decision in favour of the citizens.

A press statement issued by his Media Aide, Garba Shehu on Friday, said Buhari’s request is sequel to a meeting he held with members of the Progressive Governors Forum at the State House.

Buhari gave indications that he would within seven days resolve the cash crunch plaguing Nigerians as a result of the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to change high-value Naira notes with new ones.

The Progressive Governors Forum had appealed to the President to reconsider his stance especially as the policy was threatening the good records of the administration in transforming the economy.

But Buhari said he believes the currency re-design will give a boost to the economy and provide long-term benefits while expressing doubts about the commitment of banks in particular to the success of the policy.

He indicted some bank management, saying, “Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves”,

The President, also added that “even if a year is added, problems associated with selfishness and greed won’t go away.”

According to him, he had seen television reports about cash shortages and hardship to local businesses and ordinary people and gave assurances that the balance of seven of the 10-day extension will be used to crack down on whatever stood in the way of successful implementation.

“I will revert to the CBN and the Minting Company. There will be a decision one way or the other in the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension,” the President assured.

Meanwhile, the Governors told the President that, while they agreed that his decision on the renewal of currency was good and they are fully in support, its execution had been botched and their constituents were becoming increasingly upset.

READ:  FCT complaints commission synergizes with FMB on service delivery.

They told the President that, as leaders of the government and party in their different states, they were becoming anxious about a slump in the economy and the series of elections that are coming. They requested the President to use his powers to direct the concurrent flourish of the new and old notes till the end of the year.

The President said when he considered approving the policy, he demanded an undertaking from the CBN that no new notes will be printed in a foreign country and they in turn gave him assurances that there was enough capacity, manpower and equipment to print the currency for local needs. He said he needed to go back to find out what was actually happening.

Buhari told the Governors that, being closer to the people, he had heard their cries and will act in a way that there will be a solution.

External reserves fell by $63.62 million in January, latest figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, have revealed.

The CBN revealed in its data on the movement of foreign reserves that the external reserves, which ended December 30, 2022, at $37.08 billion, fell to $37.01 billion at the end of January 30, 2023.

Nigeria’s external reserves fell by $3.43 billion in 2022 after dropping from $40.52 billion at the end of December 31, 2021.

Earlier, Cordros Securities, in its January report, stated that the country, through its policy, has continued to sideline foreign investors at the expense of foreign earnings.

“CBN’s FX supply to the foreign exchange market segments remained significantly below before the COVID-19 pandemic period. Meanwhile, the demand for the greenback has increased as market players continue to source for FX to fulfil and clear their outstanding obligations,” the report said.

Civil rights activist and former Senator representing Kaduna Senatorial District, Shehu Sani has described the cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Godwin Emefiele as disastrous and poisonous.

READ:  Electoral Amendment Act, the best dividend of democracy President Muhammadu Buhari will bequeath Nigerians -- Prof Ibe

Sani was reacting amid hardship being experienced in withdrawal of money by bank customers leading to queues across the country.

In a statement he issued on Friday and sent to DAILY POST, Sani wondered how public policy should be a catastrophe to people rather than being a succour.

He said: “The redesigning of the National currency and the cash withdrawal policy introduced by Godwin Emefiele is an economic disaster and a poisonous idea aimed at unleashing hardships on the masses of Nigerians.

“If the Buhari administration really wants to target the few corrupt, it doesn’t have to wait this long and it doesn’t have to impoverished punish the poor. Emefiele set a forest on fire in the name of catching a few rats.”

The ex-lawmaker posited that the apex bank has become a political institution, stating that as a developing nation, economic policies such as this would have taken the status of Nigerians into cognisance.

“The CBN has become a political institution and a home for serpentine and delirious economic ideas.

“The CBN under Emefiele has become a shrine for misery and a breeding ground for penury. It has become a republic within a republic,” he said.

He queried reasons Buhari allowed the policy at the twilight of his administration, particularly in 2019 when he re-contested to stop vote buying.

“Why didn’t the Buhari administration introduce the change of currency in 2019 and waited until 2023 if the CBN policy is about curbing vote buying?

“Nigeria has been turned into a vast refugee camp where people queue for cash ration. Nigerians have subjected to the multiple tragedies of struggling for money, searching for money, looking for money and scratching for money.

“Nigerians used to buy Dollars at the black market, now they are also buying Naira at the black market.

“The Ahmed Lawan led Senate has failed to checkmate the excesses and autocracy of the CBN because the leadership is in bed with it. The House of Reps have a clear and principled position on the matter”, he concluded.

Ahead of the February presidential election, Governors elected under the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to allow both the old and new Naira notes to continue in circulation.

READ:  Call to Glory, Tribute for A life Well spent

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State disclosed the request to the president to journalists shortly after the governors under the aegis of Progressives Governors Forum met the president behind closed doors on Friday in Abuja.

Recall that the governors including Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Bello Matawale of Zamfara State, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State among others met the president at the council chamber of the State House on Friday.

El-Rufai noted that if the apex bank wants to implement the cashless policy, it should have printed half of what it mopped up, for a start, which according to him ought to be N1 trillion.

The governor who earlier alleged that the decision of the CBN was aimed at frustrating the victory of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu said they told Buhari during the meeting that the masses are suffering and traders are losing their goods due to lack of patronage birthed by the scarcity of cash.

He cited a tomato seller who travelled to Lagos recently with their goods but got nothing because people had no cash to buy.

Share This:

Leave a Reply