The presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi, has weighed in on the naira scarcity, saying that the currency redesign is not peculiar to Nigeria, although he believes that improvements could have been made in its implementation.
Obi pleaded with Nigerians to bear with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Government over the current scarcity of the newly redesigned naira notes with the hope that the general public will soon benefit from the reforms.
This was made known in a statement issued by Peter Obi on Sunday, February 5, 2023, and can be seen on his official Twitter account.
Currency redesign comes with inconveniences and pain
Obi said that exercise usually comes with some inconveniences and pain, however, noted that it has significant long-term economic and social benefits.
He also implored the CBN and the banks to increase their efforts to make the new redesigned currency available to small depositors and the unbanked so as to reduce their pains.
- Peter Obi in his statement said, “The currency redesign is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is an exercise that comes with some inconvenience and pain but it has significant long-term economic and social benefits. Even though there are improvements that can be made.
- “I urge Nigerians to bear with the CBN and Federal Government with the hope that the general populace and Nigeria will harvest the gains that will come with the reforms.
- “We equally implore the CBN and the banks to expedite efforts to make the new currency available to small depositors and the unbanked in order to reduce the pains of my fellow Nigerians, especially the underprivileged and those living far away from banks in the rural areas.”
For the record
- Many Nigerians and most of the political actors have been very critical of the timing and the implementation of the new redesigned naira note policy, with the lingering scarcity of both old and new notes crippling economic activities across the country.
- The CBN on October 26, 2022, announced its plan to redesign the three banknotes. The president subsequently unveiled the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, while the apex bank fixed a January 31 deadline for the validity of the old notes.
- The presidential candidate of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, had a few days ago, urged the CBN not to further extend its February 10 deadline for swapping the old naira notes with the newly redesigned naira notes.
- Atiku accused people who want to engage in vote buying as well as use money to corrupt the electoral system in the forthcoming general election of being against the cashless policy and the naira redesign.
- Following his meeting with All Progressive Congress (APC) Governors, who called for his intervention in the crisis, President Muhammadu Buhari asked for a 7-day period to address the problems associated with the exercise as well as take a decision.