President Muhammadu Buhari has maintained that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) currency swap policy is not targeted at innocent citizens and businesses but rather at corrupt persons and terror financiers hoarding illicit funds.
The reaction by the president follows reports of long queues of people waiting for hours to deposit old notes and get new ones, triggering public anger and criticism.
This disclosure is contained in a statement titled, ‘Government will eliminate squeeze, chaos in currency swap, President Buhari assures.’ issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Saturday, January 28, 2023.
According to Shehu, the president maintained that it had become necessary to prevent counterfeits, corruption, and terrorist funding, assuring the public that the change will help stabilize and strengthen the economy.
CBN, banks to introduce initiatives to speed up distribution of new notes
- The statement from Garba Shehu reads, ‘’President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday assured that government will ensure that citizens are unharmed in their businesses and no disruption is caused to the entire supply chain arising from the currency swap due to end shortly.
- ‘’Reacting to reports of long queues of people waiting for hours for their turn to deposit old notes and get new ones, triggering public anger and opposition’s criticism, President Buhari reiterated that the currency changes were aimed at people hoarding illicit funds and not the common man and that it had become necessary to prevent counterfeits, corruption, and terrorist funding. This, he assured, will stabilize and strengthen the economy.
- ‘’While taking note that the poorest section of society is facing hardship as they often keep hard cash at home for various expenses, President Buhari gave strong assurances that the government will not leave them to their own fate.
- ‘’He reiterated that a number of initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria and all commercial banks are underway to speed up distribution of the new notes and do all that is necessary to forestall cash squeeze and chaos.’’
CBN insists on January 31 deadline
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has once again insisted that the January 31 deadline for the validity of the old 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes remains unchanged.
This is as the pressure keeps mounting on the apex bank to extend the deadline in order to allow for proper distribution of the redesigned naira notes, which have been reported to be very scarce.
The CBN which has remained adamant, on Saturday through its official Twitter account, insisted that the January 31, 2023 deadline remains.
Reposting a video of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, from the just concluded Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the apex bank said, “Deadline for the return of old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes remains January 31, 2023.”
For catch up
- Recall that on October 26, 2022, the CBN announced plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes. Consequently, President Muhammadu Buhari on November 23, 2022, unveiled the redesigned naira notes at the State House in Abuja, with the apex bank fixing January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the validity of the old notes.
- However, there have been complaints from businesses and Nigerians over the availability of the redesigned naira notes with a call to the CBN to extend the deadline to avail more time for proper distribution.
... Buhari says naira redesign targets corrupt persons, terrorism financiers as CBN insists on January 31 deadline Read More on ... Naijaonpoint.