A former Vice President of the World Bank, Oby Ezekwesili, has expressed concerns about the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
During an interview on Channels TV on Sunday, Mrs Ezekwesili wondered whether there are still economists in the bank.
The policy, she said, was designed to solve the problem of criminality in politics.
She, however, noted that government could easily go after the criminals without using monetary policy of the CBN.
Ms Ezekwesili, who is a former minister of education, said these criminals are known to the government and that there was no need to deploy the policy.
“But there’s a second thing that we seem to be solving for which has now taken ascendancy over the monetary policy. We are using the central bank to solve the problem of criminality in our politics.
“That’s the objective, but is it an objective that the central bank should be smacked into? There’s something wrong with that because what has happened is – you have criminals – the government knows the criminals, they are part of them.
“If it wanted to, in a transparent manner, get them, it would get them. But what it has done is that It has basically discomfited the citizens, the poor women in the market, the people just barely eking out a living, and now struggling because of the criminality our politics.”
She noted that the financial infrastructure has been unable to cope with the surge in transactions because the system was not upgraded.
The former minister also described the implementation of the policy as “appalling” adding that “Frankly speaking, I don’t even know whether there are economists left in the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
Mrs Ezekwesili said “By mixing all of it up, you have created this chaos. What is clear is that the politicians have again put their interests above that of the citizens.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how angry mobs have been attacking banks in some parts of the country over the scarcity of the Naira notes.
Speaking on the presidential candidates in the 2023 election, the former minister said she cannot vote for either Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mrs Ezekwezili, who is backing the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, said the other front liners lack what she described as the three “C”, which are competence, character and capacity.
“There’s no way I can cast a vote for an Atiku or a Bola Tinubu. They don’t check the box.”
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