The governors of the 36 states in Nigeria have implored President Muhammadu Buhari to postpone the deadline for the old Naira notes to stop being legal tender.
Under the aegis Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the governors made the plea in a letter to the president dated Monday, February 6, 2023.
It was gathered that the letter was signed by the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
The governors also urged Buhari to revisit the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Recall that the CBN had in December 2022 directed banks and other financial institutions to limit the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter by individuals and corporate firms to N100,000 and N500,000 weekly. The apex bank added that withdrawals above the lower limit would require processing fees of 5% and 10% respectively for individuals and corporate firms.
The Godwin Emefiele-led bank also introduced new naira notes and gave January 31 as the deadline for the expiration of the legal tender status of the old notes.
The bank eventually moved the deadline to February 10 as millions of Nigerians could not access to the new notes. Speedy implementation of cashless policy may lead to anarchy, governors warn In the letter addressed to President Buhari, the governors warned that “the speed of implementation of the policy is a recipe for anarchy in the country.” The governors said that though almost every state of the federation is feeling the hardship caused by the policy, states that have fewer banks like Borno in the Northeast and Bayelsa in the South-south suffer the most. “It is our view, Sir, that an immediate limitation in the use of cash without robust engagement with stakeholders as well as the provision of accessible alternatives will deny such people legitimate sources of livelihood,” the governors wrote.
Cashless policy may lead to unemployment, increase in crime rate – NGF The NGF further noted that the policy may lead to “a rise in the number of unemployed and unengaged persons who will inevitably resort to crime to make ends meet.”
“This has a dangerous implication for the security of the country and the potential to derail Mr President’s security agenda,” the governors said.
What President Buhari should do, governors advise The governors, therefore, beseeched President Buhari to extend the policy’s implementation span and order the CBN to ensure the availability of the new naira notes. They also advised the president to direct state governments to be involved in future discussions regarding the policies to have revised policies that would recognise and consider states’ peculiarities.
The NGF added that Buhari should consider and approve the putting in place of necessary infrastructure and facilities within a reasonable time frame to facilitate the implementation of the policy, including introducing incentives to encourage the use of digital payment solutions.
Finally, the governors asked Buhari to direct that a robust enlightenment campaign be mounted to create sufficient awareness amongst the citizens of the thrust of the policy. *Nigerians react to governors’ move* Kingsley Ebinumutimipre Nelson said on Facebook: “Corrupt politicians want to spend billions of naira they stock in their warehouses for this election, I stand with CBN and President Buhari on the deadline.” Ezekiel Olawale said: “Extension will create more problem for the poor masses. Because people are currently rejecting old note and there’s no way they will change their minds and begin to collect it back. Everyone is afraid of having Old note at hand now.” Ezeugo Major Ikenna said: “Why are governors so concerned about this old currency deadline? Were they concerned about the ASUU strike? Were they concerned about the END SARS saga? “Whenever you see a toad jumping in broad daylight, know that something is after its life. “Let’s not be deceived, these politicians are fighting for their personal interest and not for the poor masses. Let them go and pay salary arrears, pension and gratuity in their individual states.” Femokan cleanhouse said: “We don’t need an extension please. Nigerians have paid their dues, let go on with these reforms. “When did our political leaders start showing love and empathy.”