Naira crisis: APC campaign spokesman says Emefiele implementing vindictive policy
Senator Bola Tinubu’s presidential spokesman, Dr Josef Onoh has described the prevailing Naira scarcity in the country as a policy solely trumped up by the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, from an aggrieved concept to derail the political process after he failed to achieve a presidential aspiration.
Onoh said that the Naira redesign was not an All Progressives (APC) policy but a brainchild of Emefiele that is now detrimental to the nation’s economy, advising that the country should copy the British model of gradual currency withdrawal for at least 12 months.
The new British notes are expected to enter circulation by mid-2024, where all polymer banknotes carrying a portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender, and the public can continue to use them as normal.
New British notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes, while notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III will therefore co-circulate People will be able to use these new notes as they start to enter circulation in 2024.
Onoh stressed that the timing for the naira redesign and withdrawal of old notes under an election period was wrong and a wicked policy of Emefiele to punish Nigerians for his failed ambition to become a President of Nigeria.
He cited instances of the crises so far caused by the new naira notes scarcity to include protests, illegal sales of the new notes, possession of the notes by terrorists against Nigeria security officers, transport and other social service hiccups.
He said that it was unfortunate that the Nigerian government appointed someone whom it believed was competent to drive the financial sector but has turned out to be a mistake since the CBN Governor turned into a politician who harbours emotions of unattained desire.
He stated that Emefiele should not have been allowed to go back to office after he failed in his presidential bid since he has been feeling bad about the lost bid and chose to vent his anger on the entire Nigerian populace.
Onoh warned that the CBN naira redesign policy may cause civil unrest, stressing that Emefiele was supposed to have left office the moment he indicated interest to become a presidential aspirant.
“If Emefiele was competent enough and was devoid of vengeance, he would have copied the English model for a currency change. To allow Emefiele to go back to dictate the financial guidelines for the country as a CBN Governor after his failed presidential bid was a mistake. It has turned out to be a detriment not just to the APC-led government but to entire Nigeria, and his actions and policies may end up causing civil unrest in the country.
“So, from the moment he indicated presidential interest, we ought to have left office, and the DSS alerted us even before now when they invited him. People are dying, and the Nigerian currency has become a Bureau de Change as it is now being sold. England should be a model on how to change currency because Emefiele’s timing is wrong. This policy is detrimental to the country.
“We should gradually phase out the old notes to at least a minimum of 12 calendar months. We expect that in the next remaining days, the CBN should hold a stakeholder meeting with all the security agencies, captains of industries, and traders so that we can gradually begin to phase out the old notes from the system within 12 months because the timing was wrong.
“No matter the positive impact this currency change holds in the long run, but initiated within a political period, can only be interpreted as self-serving and to the greater detriment of our whole country,” Onoh stated.
He added that the policy is not just against Nigerians but also poses a threat to national security with terrorists taking possession of the new naira notes while the country’s security personnel are in lack of the notes, warning that if the rural Nigerians the reside where there are no banks can only access the new notes from terrorists, it will swing their loyalty to the terrorists as against the constituted authority.
“We should not think that this policy affects only the APC Presidential campaign, it doesn’t, and so people should not misconstrue it as a target to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The other candidates are not complaining because they are not interested in the overall interest of the masses outside their selfish interests, unlike Tinubu, who has stood out once again for the interest of the masses. They have demonstrated through their silence that they are not interested in the plight of Nigerians.
“So much appreciation goes to Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai for standing up for the greater good for history shall be kind to him,” Onoh said.