The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to succumb to blackmail and extend the deadline for return of old naira notes beyond February 10, 2023.
Atiku, who charged CBN to immediately review the measures it has put in place for ensuring the seamless circulation of the new naira notes, berated anti-democratic elements for ganging up against the apex bank.
The Waziri Adamawa in a statement by his media office, in Abuja, Wednesday, commended the CBN for listening to the demand of the ordinary people by granting a ten-day extension for the exchange of the old naira notes for new ones, warning however that further extension after the February 10 deadline may destroy the purpose and objective of initiating the redesigning of the currency.
The statement read: “The additional ten days will enable our people in the rural areas and ordinary people across the country to take the naira in their possession into the banks. It will also enable the CBN to further circulate the new currency notes among banks so that people can have easy access.
“Within these ten days, I urge the CBN to initiate measures that will alleviate the problems being encountered by the people in exchanging their old naira notes for new ones and getting more new notes into circulation. The CBN may have to consider printing more currency notes to eliminate the current scarcity among ordinary people, especially rural dwellers who need them for their daily transactions.
“If the CBN thinks its officials and banks must operate at the weekend to address the needs of the ordinary people and rural dwellers, it may have to consider this option, after all the amount these people require is not huge. The essential element here is ensuring that the new currency goes around and is well distributed to the points where people can easily access them. Every good policy must be people-centered and must not bring avoidable difficulty to the people.”