HeadlineNaira Redesign: Buhari Requests Seven Days To Resolve Cash Crunch

Naira Redesign: Buhari Requests Seven Days To Resolve Cash Crunch

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, urged Nigerians to give him a seven-day window to resolve the currency crunch that has emanated from the implementation of the Central Bank policy to change high-value Naira notes with newly designed ones.

A statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said Buhari made the appeal during a meeting with the Progressive Governors Forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.

The Progressive Governors, led by its Chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and eleven others, had met the President to share with him the negative impact of the Central Bank’s policy, which they said was threatening the good records of the administration in transforming the economy.

Addressing the Governors, President Buhari noted that the objective of the policy was not to create hardship but aim to provide the economy with much-needed revitalisation, adding that the benefits will be borne in the medium to long term.

“Unfortunately, inefficiencies and underhanded practices being carried out on the part of our banks as the primary distribution medium, have destabilised the smooth and successful execution of the policy.

“Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves,” he said, adding that “an extension of the time frame within which to complete this process will be made insignificant for as long as greed and selfishness continue to guide our actions,” the statement quoted Buhari as saying.

Buhari said he had received and seen televised reports about cash shortages and undue hardships that local businesses and the citizens are being subjected to and gave assurances that the balance of the seven of the 10-day extension will be used to rectify whatever issues that pose a threat to successful implementation.

While continuing to monitor the situation, he assured that he will be meeting with both the CBN and the Security and Minting Company and a decision will be taken based on current realities in the best interest of the people.

The Governors, who reiterated their full support of the policy decision to redesign the currency, said they were convinced about the intent behind its thinking.

They told the President that, as leaders within the party and the government in their various states, they were becoming anxious regarding the economic impact and the potential erosion to our democratic process, particularly the upcoming general elections.

They requested the President directs an adequate injection of the new notes and the continued utilisation of the old ones until the end of the year.

In his response, President Buhari said in the consideration of the policy, prior to its initial approval, he demanded an undertaking from the CBN that no new notes will be printed outside the country, adding that he received firm assurances that there was enough capacity, manpower and equipment for the domestic execution of this exercise.

The President said he would “interrogate these assurances as part of his engagement with the responsible agencies of government.”

President Buhari thanked the Governors for bringing the cries of the people to him, given their proximity to them and assured that there will be a solution to the problem.

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