The governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, has described the new policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to change high- value Naira notes with new ones as “anti-people.”
He also said the policy will not in anyway fight corruption in the country.
Mr Wike said this on Friday during a campaign rally for the PDP governorship candidate, Siminalayi Fubara, in the Okirika Local Government Area of the state.
“This policy is what? Anti-people, because the (new) notes are not there. Even when I have money in my account I cannot get 10,000. I cannot get fuel. Who is weeping, is it not the masses? Is it not the people?,” the governor said at the rally monitored by PREMIUM TIMES.
Speaking further, Mr Wike also criticised suggestions that the CBN policy was intended to fight corruption and a target against the political elite.
“Who told you that they are using it to fight politicians? You think I am not prepared for this election? They are merely fighting against the poor people.
“This policy is not targeted to fight corruption at all and fight politicians too. It is just a way to suffer the people who elected us to govern them. And our business is not to make the people suffer.
“They say no more use of old notes. It cannot work like that because it takes time. Look at the rural area and the level of illiteracy in the country,” he said.
Threat to insecurity
He also said the new policy may affect security in the country, noting that the country may not be able to pay security officers money because of the growing cash crunch that has become a problem across the country.
“We cannot give these security agencies money any longer for them to use to pay those who are in the field. There is nowhere you see in this world…..everyday CIA carries cash for operation the NIA carries cash for operation. But here we cannot give our security officers money.
“When you make policies, make them to favour the people,” Mr Wike added.
In recent weeks, Nigerians have been rushing to meet the CBN deadline for the phase-out of the old naira notes of N200, N500, and N1,000. This is against the backdrop of the country’s poor distribution of the newly redesigned notes, which has led to long queues at some ATMs and high charges for citizens at Point of Sale (POS) centres.
As a result of the ongoing hardship experienced by many Nigerians, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefile, on Sunday extended the deadline of 31 January, by 10 days up until 10 February..
On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari also urged citizens to give him seven days to resolve the cash crunch that has become a problem across the country from the policy of the CBN to change high value Naira notes with new ones.
He said this after the Progressive Governors Forum visited him at 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.
READ ALSO: 2023: I’ll not accept the position of vice president — Wike
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the PDP Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria not to grant a further extension after the 10 February deadline for naira swap.
This, he said, had become imperative to ensure the purpose and objective of initiating the redesigning of the currency are not destroyed.
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