By Aondowase C. Atakyar
A group of protesters in Abuja have warned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to yield to the antics of selfish politicians trying to truncate the naira redesign policy.
The protesters who started stormed the CBN Headquarters in Abuja on Monday demanded that the CBN must follow through the policy to a logical conclusion.
The protesters under the aegis of Pro Nigeria Group led by Isaac Balami said the policy is for the good of the country.
“The CBN had given ten days extension and the politicians in this country are trying to play politics, to blackmail the CBN and possibly blackmail the president to go back on their words. We are here to support the CBN monetary policy. This policy by the CBN will stop votes buying. Vote buying is a major problem and it has destroyed nigeria. Enough is Enough” the Mr. Balami said.
“We are aware that the CBN has released enough money to all the banks. All the banks have money. But politicians are buying these money at a higher cost, at the black market rate thereby frustrating the citizens to go against the CBN. We are saying no” he noted.
He acknowledged the policy is having huge negative impacts on the citizens but he called for patience.
“We know some Nigerians are going through pains. We know it’s not easy but we will have to patient. We are ready to endure. We are with the CBN on this. We are with the CBN Governor on this. We say no going back on currency redesign” he emphasized.
Responding to the demands on the CBN, the Director Corporate Communication, CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisoboli said the CBN isn’t going back on the policy.
We are fully persuaded that what we are doing is for the benefit of the Nigerian people. We are apolitical. What we know is that this isn’t targeted at anybody. The CBN wil see through this policy. I can assure you” he said.
“We only plead with Nigerians to be a little patient. This policy wil benefit all of us. When we have all the money in the banking system, we will able to plan better for Nigerians. This is not about politics. Whatever we are doing, it will help the Nigerian economy” he said.
“I appreciate the pains and difficulties but there are always trade-offs in policies. However, the CBN is doing everything possible that the new notes circulate accross Nigerian. This is why the CBN Governor ordered all the directors in the CBN to move to.the states to ensure that the banks disburses the cash once they receive it. We are also using agents, about 30,000 of them to ensure they do naira swap” he explained.
“I can assure you we are resolute. We are fully persuaded and we will see it to a conclusive end. We will not go back..the Governor has said it. We will only move forward” he said.
He thanked them for the very peaceful walk.
He said the CBN today is a pro-people CBN.
“When the present CBN Governor assumed office in 2014, he made it clear that he will lead a people centred CBN, and the policies of the CBN will affect the Ives of the Nigerian people positively irrespective of class and irrespective of political persuasion. This is what we are doing” he assured..
He said the policy is specifically targeted to bring all cash into the vaults of the CBN and not targeted at politicians.
“A situation where you have N2.7trn outside of the banking system; held up in homes, held up in bunkers and everywhere will not augur well for the CBN. Thar is the major reason for the Naira redesign” he said.
“We are saying these money should come back to vault of the CBN and also, permeat the banking system so that we will be able to control the money supply in the system and also make our monetary policy effective” he stated.