PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has asked for seven days to tackle problems arising from the naira redesign, especially scarcity of the new notes which has become a major problem across the country.
Buhari made this known to the public through an official Twitter handle after meeting with the incumbent state governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.
The President maintained that the currency redesign would enhance sustainable growth and boost the nation’s economy.
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“The currency redesign will give a boost to the economy and provide long-term benefits,” he said.
Expressing doubts about the commitment of banks to the success of the policy, Buhari said some banks were inefficient and avaricious in the way they had handled the situation.
He said, “Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves. Even if a year is added, problems associated with selfishness and greed won’t go away.”
He admitted that he had seen television reports about cash shortages and hardship to local businesses and the ordinary people.
The president, however, gave assurances that the balance of seven days of the 10-day extension would be used to address whatever could be hindering the successful implementation of the policy.
“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 stated.
The governors, expressing their concerns on the issue of cash scarcity, acknowledged the decision of the president on the redesign of some naira notes, but pointed out that the execution had caused a lot of uproar in their various states.
“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 tweet said.
Buhari explained that when he considered giving approval to the policy, he demanded an undertaking from the CBN that no new notes would 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.
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