President Muhammadu Buhari will within the next seven days take a ‘major decision’ to resolve the cash crunch that has become a problem across the country following the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to change high value naira notes with new ones.
This was revealed in a statement by his media aide Femi Adesina on Friday.
Mr Buhari pleaded with Nigerians to allow him study the worsening development during a meeting with the Progressive Governors Forum at the State House.
The APC governors were in the Presidential Villa to seek solutions to the cash crunch which they said was threatening the good records of the administration in transforming the economy.
According to President Buhari, the currency recolouring will give a boost to the economy and provide long-term benefits.
He, however, expressed doubts about the commitment of banks in particular to the success of the policy.
“Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves.
“Even if a year is added, problems associated with selfishness and greed won’t go away,” he said.
He said 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 would be used to crackdown 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.
The governors told the president that, while they agreed that his decision on the renewal of currency was good and they were 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 giving the approval to the policy, he demanded an undertaking from the CBN that no new notes would 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.
Mr Buhari told the governors that, being closer to the people, he had heard their cries and would act in a way that there would be a solution.
The October 26, 2022 policy decision by the CBN to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations, and the subsequent announcements including the cash withdrawal limit – have continued to generate adverse reactions.
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