Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to allow both the old and new naira notes co-circulate until the end of the year.
The governors said this Friday after they met the president to seek solutions to the cash crunch recorded across Nigeria, which they said was threatening the ‘good records’ of the administration in transforming the economy.
Led by the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, eleven other governors from APC-controlled states attended the meeting.
President Buhari had earlier said the currency re-design will give a boost to the economy and provide long-term benefits while expressing doubts about the commitment of banks in particular to the success of the policy.
“Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves”, said the president, “even if a year is added, problems associated with selfishness and greed won’t go away.”
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 will be used to crack down on whatever stood in the way of successful implementation.
According to a statement signed by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, the governors said they are in support of the policy and were convinced about the intent behind its thinking.
However, they expressed concerns about the negative impact of the policy which has had a debilitating effect on Nigerians.
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“They told the president that, as leaders within the party and the government in their various states, they were becoming anxious regarding the economic impact and the potential erosion to our democratic process, particularly the upcoming general elections,” the statement said.
“They, therefore, requested that the president directs an adequate injection of the new notes and the continued utilisation of the old ones until the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, Mr Buhari stated that prior to the initial approval of the policy, he demanded an undertaking from the CBN that no new notes will be printed outside the country, and he received firm assurances that there was enough capacity, manpower and equipment for the domestic execution of the exercise.
“However, he would interrogate these assurances as part of his engagement with the responsible agencies of government,” the statement said.
“Finally, he thanked the governors for bringing the cries of the people to him, given their proximity to them and assured that there will be a solution to the problem,” the statement said.
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