Nigeria's number one man, President Muhammadu Buhari has given a new direction to the CBN.
He directed the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies to check the activities of those bent on frustrating the smooth implementation of the currency re-design policy.
He actually asked the apex bank to ensure the arrest and prosecution of those out to sabotage the naira redesign policy.
The President, who gave the order while addressing the nation on the CBN currency swap policy in Abuja yesterday, gave the address on a day Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa, told him the naira redesign policy is hurting the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and making the party unpopular.
This is even as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday appealed to Nigerians to allow the naira redesign policy of the government to work.
In the nationwide address, President Buhari called on the CBN to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation was made to bear the full weight of the law.
The president said: “I am not unaware of the obstacles placed on the path of innocent Nigerians by unscrupulous officials in the banking industry, entrusted with the process of implementation of the new monetary policy.
“I am deeply pained and sincerely sympathise with you all, over these unintended outcomes.
“To stem this tide, I have directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that our citizens are adequately educated on the policy; enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through the availability of the appropriate amounts of currency; and ability to make deposits.
“I have similarly directed that the CBN intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies, so as to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation is made to bear the full weight of the law.”
He maintained that during the extended phase of the deadline for the currency swap, he listened to invaluable pieces of advice from well-meaning citizens and institutions across the nation.
Buhari added: “Considering the health of our economy and the legacy we must bequeath to the next administration and future generations of Nigerians, I admonish every citizen to strive harder to make their deposits by taking advantage of the platforms and windows being provided by the CBN.
“Let me assure Nigerians that our administration will continue to assess the implementation, with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are not unnecessarily burdened.
“In this regard, the CBN shall ensure that new notes become more available and accessible to our citizens through the banks.
“I wish to once more appeal for your understanding till we overcome this difficult, transient phase within the shortest possible time.’’
On the forthcoming February 25 presidential election, the president affirmed that the new monetary policy had also contributed immensely to the minimisation of the influence of money in politics.
Buhari, who also gave approval for usage of the old N200 note till April 10, said this was a positive departure from the past and represented a bold legacy step by this administration, towards laying a strong foundation for free and fair elections.