Governors to Meet Buhari on Currency Scarcity, New Notes’ Deadline
Governors of the 36 states of the federation are scheduled to meet President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday to discuss the way out of the present scarcity of cash in the system.
Nigerians are groaning under the excruciating lack of cash to buy basic items and survive owing to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s naira redesign policy geared towards mopping up excess cash in the system.
There have been chaotic queues in banking halls and Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in search of cash across the country while POS operators have lacked the cash to give to customers except in rare cases where they charge about 20 percent.
Facing likely revolt from the people, governors have now resolved to meet President Buhari to convince him to shift the deadline for the expiration of the old notes beyond February 10.
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The deadline was initially slated for January 31 but it was shifted to February 10 last week.
The scarcity has however gotten worse in the last few days with fears that another EndSARS-like mass revolt may start from the banking halls.
Speaking on Arise TV on Thursday, Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said the cashless policy of the CBN is desirable but the deadline for the transition is unrealistic.
The governor said before such policies are put in place, other stakeholders like the Ministers of Digital Economy and Finance must be carried along, adding that strong network and availability of bank branches across the country must be put into place.
He lamented that Nigerians, especially northerners, have been at the receiving end of the CBN’s insistence to give a short notice on the expiration of the old notes, adding that most rural areas in the north do not even have banks and networks for POS operations are non-existent.
Ahead of the upcoming elections, the governor urged Nigerians not to punish All Progressives Congress (APC) for the hardship they are going through, saying naira redesign is not a policy of the ruling party.
He therefore announced that the governors will meet President Buhari to convince him on the need to further postpone the deadline for the expiration of the old notes so that the present panic will go away and rural dwellers will have enough time to get their cash to bank without losing their hard-earned money.
“President Buhari is a listening leader. We the governors will meet him tomorrow (Friday) and convince him further on the need to shift the deadline and allow our people have enough time to adjust to the new policy and we know he will listen to us,” the governor said.