Our reporter| Nigerians may bear the brunt of the sufferings occasioned by the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but they have embraced it, the Presidency has said.
This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday.
The policy instituted in October 2022 targeted cash hoarders and vote buyers, while seeking to end the legality of the old N200, N500, N1,000 banknotes by January 31 – the deadline later being extended to February 10.
Many commended the policy while criticising the implementation, especially the relatively short notice Nigerians were given to swap their old currencies for the new notes.
In a seeming reaction to calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to comply with the Supreme Court ruling ordering that the old notes continue to serve as legal tender until December 31, 2023, Shehu said the President was an upholder of the judicial process.
“As for the cashless system the CBN is determined to put in place, it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the sufferings, surprisingly support the policy as they believe that the action would cut corruption, fight terrorism, build an environment of honesty and reinforce the incorruptible leadership of the President,” the presidential spokesman said.
“It is therefore wide off the mark to blame the President for the current controversy over the cash scarcity, despite the Supreme Court judgement. The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President.
President Buhari has also rejected the impression that he lacks compassion, saying that “no government in our recent history has introduced policies to help economically marginalised and vulnerable groups like the present administration.”