Our reporter| Relative calm has returned in the Mile 12 and other areas of Lagos state following an early Friday morning protest over the naira scarcity.
Gunshots were reportedly heard in the area with many scampering for safety, according to footage on social media.
Suspected hoodlums in the area – Mile 12, Ojota, and Ketu – took over the Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway, attacking some commuters in the process.
But the Lagos State Police Command spokesman Benjamin Hundeyin said normalcy has been restored following the incident.
“Free movement of vehicles and people fully restored. Our officers and men are still on the ground to prevent any breakdown of law and order,” he tweeted on his handle. “If you see something, say something.”
The protest came hours after President Muhammadu Buhari in a nationwide broadcast said while the old N1,000 and N500 are no longer legal tenders, the N200 banknotes will still be in use until April 10, 2023.
He also empathized with Nigerians over the crisis created by the naira swap policy of the Federal Government.
“To further ease the supply pressure, particularly on our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023, to April 10, 2023, when the old N200 note ceases to be legal tender,” he said.
Buhari lamented the volume of banknotes outside the banking system.
“The proportion of currency outside banks grew from 78%in 2015 to 85% in 2022. As of October 2022, therefore, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking System while N2.7 trillion remained permanently outside the system; thereby distorting the financial policy and efficient management of inflation,” the President said.
“The huge volume of Bank Notes outside the banking system has proven to be practically unavailable for economic activities and by implication, retard the attainment of potential economic growth.”
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