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We’re concerned about disruptive, hurried implementation of cashless policy, its hardship on Nigerians -Tinubu

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.As Adeleke decries rejection of old notes, asks CBN to call banks to order

.Bayelsa govt urges CBN to ameliorate sufferings

 

Blessing Akorowosi, Osogbo with agency reports

 

The President-elect and APC presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Sunday said he has nothing against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Naira re-design and cashless policy, insisting that he was only concerned about its disruptive implementation and the hardship it brought to Nigerians

 

Tinubu, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, explained that this was especially so because most Nigerians currently could not access their hard-earned monies and could not meet their financial obligations.

 

The former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the APC, further noted that the past few weeks had been a challenging one for Nigerians, especially those in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

 

Equally challenged he said, were the poor and vulnerable masses and those whose very survival depended on daily cash transactions.

 

“They have felt the brunt of the combined problems of scarcity of fuel and new Naira notes.

 

“We feel the pains of our market women and artisans who have experienced low sales because customers do not have cash to make purchases.

 

“We hear the loud cries of farmers in rural areas and hinterlands who have been forced to sell their produce at much lower prices so they don’t lose out completely.

 

“We hear every Nigerian dealing with the consequences of the roll-out of the cash swap programme,” he stated, stressing that while the scarcity arising from the supply limitations of the new Naira notes was still with us, he was encouraged about reports that the fuel queues across the country was easing out following better supply of fuel to filling stations.

 

He said we were now however confronted with how to bring quick, sustainable solution and relief to Nigerians on the challenges still posed by the non-availability of the new Naira notes.

 

According to him, this is necessary to ensure that social and economic activities can move on unimpeded and normalcy immediately return to our financial services sector and overall productivity of the country.

 

He said that to seek a quick resolution, the National Council of State met on February 10, and advised the Federal Government and the CBN in particular, to push more new Naira notes into circulation.

 

He said the council also advised that the old notes be allowed to remain a legal tender by ensuring supply gaps relative to infrastructural limitations were bridged by recirculating it to ameliorate the pains caused by the scarcity of new ones.

 

“We agree with the wisdom of the Council of States as a necessary starting point to begin redressing the unintended consequences of what would have otherwise been a good policy that required mainstream adoption.

 

“For the records, I and my running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, and our campaign council do not have anything against the CBN Naira redesign and cashless policy in principle.

 

“We are only concerned about its disruptive implementation and the hardship it brought on the generality of Nigerians who currently could not access their hard-earned money and could not meet obligations,” he said.

 

Tinubu said he was also concerned about the attendant consequences of the policy on the informal sector where majority operate.

 

He said that in spite of the challenges and current difficulties, we are a country of resilient, bold and courageous people who don’t succumb to hard times.

 

“We have always overcome our most difficult times and come out better as a people and a nation. This time will not be different. We will make lemonade out of our current lemons,” he said.

 

In a related development,  Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has decried the plight of the state residents over banks’ refusal to accept old naira notes even after dispensing the old currency.

 

He called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), particularly the state Director to call the commercial banks to order to put an end to the agonising situation.

 

In a statement issued on Sunday, Gov. Adeleke lamented the pains and suffering of residents, narrating the many complaints of bank customers who accused the banks of refusing deposits of old notes as well as the attendant negative consequences on the populace.

 

According to the governor who has received several calls from Bank customers across the state, “the deliberate refusal of banks to collect old notes is creating serious economic complications for residents of the state. For the banks to issue old notes and refuse to accept old notes as deposit is highly unacceptable.

 

“I consequently call on the Central Bank of Nigeria to direct the banks operating in the state to correct the anomalies. The state director of the CBN is specifically requested to direct the banks to halt this unhealthy practice.

 

“If banks will not accept old notes as deposits,  they must stop issuing old notes for withdrawal. The current pain being inflicted on our people must stop,” he stated.

Also, the Bayelsa Government on Saturday called on the the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to respect the judgment of the Supreme Court and ease the hardships of citizens caused by the new Naira policy.

The government also appealed for calm amidst the challenges faced by Nigerians following the Naira redesign and cashless policy introduced by the CBN.

The government made the call in a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Chief Ayibaina Duba, following protest by residents of the state over the policy.

It appreciated the pains of the residents caused by the implementation of the Naira redesign policy and the Supreme Court ruling on the old N200, N500 and N1000 currency notes.

It urged the CBN to clrify the validity of the old Naira notes being reissued by banks after the Supreme Court judgment.

The News  Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the statement followed a protest by some residents of the state urging the state government to speak on the validity of the old notes being issued by commercial banks, but who in turn reject the old notes as deposits.

“The government thus urges residents to be calm and not engage in acts that could jeopardise the peace of the state.

“The government notes that on March 3, the Supreme Court ruled that the old notes, which had been phased out by the CBN, remain legal tender till December 31 this year.

“While the state government is not against the Naira redesign policy of the CBN or the Federal Government, it is however not comfortable with the method of its implementation that has resulted in further hardship on people of the state and, indeed, the country.

“The government, therefore, urges business operators in the state, particularly banks, traders and keke (tricycle) to take into consideration the Supreme Court ruling in order to reduce the pains of people of the state,” the statement read in part.

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