The Council of State has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to print more redesigned naira notes or allow the new and old banknotes to circulate at the same time to ease the tension and hardship caused by the scarcity of the naira.
The Council which is the highest advisory organ approved the naira redesign policy of the CBN but faulted its implementation.
This was made known on Friday by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami while briefing State House Correspondents after the Council meeting which was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Malami, who was also flanked by Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, said the Council highlighted the need for aggressive action by the CBN to ensure adequate supply of the naira in the system for proper implementation of the policy.
Council insists election must hold as scheduled
Malami said the Council also insisted that the general elections will be held as scheduled based on the readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Police.
He said the council received a briefing from the chairman of INEC, the IGP and the CBN governor.
- The AGF said, “The two major resolutions that were driven, arriving from the deliberations of the Council, are one, that we are on course as far as election is concerned and we are happy with the level of preparation by INEC and the institutions.
- “Two, relating to the naira re-designed policy, the policy stands, but then the Council agreed that there is a need for aggressive action on the part of the Central Bank, as it relates to the implementation of the policy by way of ensuring adequate provision being made with regard to the supply of the naira in the system.’’
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Governor Ishaku stated that it proffered a number of suggestions to the President, particularly on the naira swap challenge which dominated discussions, following a debriefing from the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, and expressed the hope Buhari will make a decision soon.
On the 2023 elections, Malami also expressed the Council’s satisfaction with the level of preparation by the INEC and other institutions.
Those present at the meeting
Those present at the meeting that was chaired by President Buhari include the former presidents Goodluck Jonathan; Yakubu Gowon, and Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo who attended virtually.
Also present at the Chamber were the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Governors in attendance were Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), and Babagana Zulum (Borno). Other governors that virtually attended were Ademola Adeleke (Osun), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and the Deputy Governors Nasarawa and Bauchi states.
The Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele also attended the meeting.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu was also physically in attendance and briefed the Council on preparations ahead of polls.
All Service Chiefs and Heads of security agencies were also physically present.