CBN short-sighted, Naira redesign won’t work now – Kola Abiola
The presidential candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) has said currency redesign and cash withdrawal policies of the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) were not a product of critical thinking.
According to him, the decision of the apex bank to embark on currency redesign at this time without the necessary infrastructure in place indicated that the policy was bound to fail from inception.
He stated this on Monday in Abuja during a meeting with the leaders of Arewa groups across the 19 Northern states, where they also endorsed his presidential ambition.
Abiola stated: “This is very bad timing with not so much time to implement the policy. Indeed, what is happening is a collective mess. We have a situation where it is difficult for banks to cope with the inflows of requests, where there is no enough cash out there and where many citizens are not even in the banking system.
“If you are in the village or local government where there is no bank, how do you change the money? You need to be inclusive before you bring a policy like this.
“The banking software is not robust to even take care of the activities that we do and you are now forcing us to go online which has resulted in most of the banking software crashing.
“What we are having now is that things are bouncing back, their software is crashing. Sometimes you make a payment and the person you sent the money to does not receive it for two weeks. That’s a problem and they need to have considered this earlier on before implementing this policy. Like any other thing in Nigeria, all they do (policymakers) is to look at things from their own perspective forgetting that everybody is not like them.
“They don’t take into account the common person. In the Local Government where there is no bank, how will they survive without cash? So there is something you need to do as a country first to get them inclusive and then you can implement the policy, but the way it’s implemented now is just complicated.
Earlier, the Leader of the coalition, Alh. Nasiru Muhammad Ingawa said the youths from the 19 northern states had been campaigning for the PRP candidate for three months prior to the grand flagged off.
According to him, the groups found it necessary to spread the gospel of a new Nigeria down to every nook and cranny of the North.
He said Abiola represents a new breed of young leaders with fresh innovations that suit modern-day democracy, noting that the PRP candidate is a sharp contrast to archaic ideas that held the country to ransom for a long time.
He said: “The North has a beautiful and long history of cordial relationship with the late Moshood Abiola of the blessed memory, and now with Mr Kola Abiola who has proven competent and capable of addressing the lingering issues of insecurity and economic crisis putting the North on its knees and by extension affecting the Socioeconomic strength of Nigeria as a whole.
“The Arewa Youth Group for Kola Abiola is confident that the underground work going on at the grassroots level within the Northern rural areas and the Northern cities by the support group is being welcomed by the Northern populace and the group is certain that the PRP will surely produce the next president of the country in the forthcoming general election
“Abiola stands out to be the best among the other contenders seeking the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In his remarks, Abiola described the endorsement as fantastic, adding that “when you see a group like this endorse you, it is a very big development. It also shows that we are very inclusive in our party, indeed we are truly a national party.
“We have 719 candidates in this election, 23 governorship candidates and 44 senatorial candidates and so on and so forth. So by doing this it shows that we are truly national. I’m from the South and Kalo is from Kaduna South and we getting support from the such group it is a good development.”
Also speaking, the Leader of the Fulani youth, Ibrahim Abdullahi, also said Fulani youths from the 19 Northern States and Abuja preferred Abiola as their presidential candidate.
The group vowed to mobilise seven million votes from the northern region to ensure Abiola emerge victorious.
He said that their decision was on the ground that “they want equity, fairness, capacity, justice, patriotism and they have seen Kola as the man who can provide that kind of leadership.
He said that the Fulani pastoralists use to have about five million votes until recently when they were given the opportunity for people to register online, adding that “they decided to generate data of young Fulani graduates whom we provided with phone devices to go from Ruga to Ruga and registered those people so that we can be able to increase our voting capacity and we are happy to inform the general public that we were able to provide seven million votes confidently.”
“What informs our decision to identify with PRP is very simple. First, we are tired of the current situation, we have not seen any difference between a ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the opposition, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.