Northern group flays Atiku over naira policy remarks
CAN wants corrupt bank officials tried as CSO urges review of ratio policy
North Central Youth Stakeholders Forum (NCYSF) has flayed presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, for opposing extension of submission of old naira notes.
The chairman, Mohammed Mohammed, while urging Nigerians to remain vigilant, charged them to be prepared for a mass “Bring Back Our Old Notes” protest in the event that insufficiency of the new notes persists beyond February 5 (yesterday).
A statement by the group reads in part: “The North Central Youth Stakeholders Forum has received with utter dismay newspaper reports quoting Atiku Abubakar asking the Central Bank of Nigeria not to extend the deadline beyond the February 10,2023 deadline.
“We find this comment very callous, reckless and insensitive to the plight of the masses, as well as unbecoming of a man, who is aspiring to become Nigeria’s President. Indeed, this did not come to us as a surprise because Atiku Abubakar is known to have made the infamous statement that God never answers the prayers of the poor.”
BESIDES, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has urged the Federal Government to fish out and prosecute banks and officials assisting politicians in procuring the new notes
Warning that the general elections should not be undermined by unpatriotic citizens, the organisation, lauded President Muhammad Buhari on the currency swap, especially the 10-day extension window.
Hayab, in a statement issued at the weekend, stated: “CAN Kaduna State chapter wishes to salute President Buhari for insisting that the 2023 elections must be free and devoid of vote buying. We also like to thank the President for the 10-day extension for the old currency to lose its legal tender status.”
ALSO, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has charged the apex bank to review its new notes’ apportioned ratio policy and collaborate with law enforcement agencies in monitoring agent cash swap operators, as well as officials against irregularities.
Recall that the CBN Bankers Committee, last Wednesday, issued a communiqué stating that the new notes allocated to financial institutions “shall be apportioned in the ratio 40:30:30 for Agent Cash Swaps, Over-the-Counter and ATMs respectively.”
A statement, yesterday, by HEDA’s chairman, Olarenwaju Suraju, said the civil society organisation (CSO) insisted that “it is essential for the apex bank to review the policy to address different circumstances and ensure sufficient release of cash into the system, as well as take instant action on agent cash swap operators’ activities by ensuring that the purpose of the exercise is not defeated by corrupt operators and bank officials, as some are recently arrested by anti-corruption agencies.”
According to him, verified information gathered by the group indicate that some of swap operators are responsible for sale of new notes to merrymakers, who abuse the currency and those reselling to ordinary users, while bank officials are “irresponsibly preserving cash for politicians and bank owners.”