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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Naira scarcity: I will go back to CBN within 7 days to ask what is happening – Buhari

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Following the controversy trailing the naira redesign and distribution, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that he will be taking a major decision within the next week that will turn around the current situation.

A statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu on Friday, said Buhari gave the assurance after a meeting he held with members of the Progressive Governors Forum at the State House.

According to the president, he will 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 no longer healthy for 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.

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

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