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Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has told President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the old and new naira notes to both be in circulation as legal tender.
Cash scarcity has been witnessed across the country as a fallout of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s naira redesign policy.
This has resulted in protests and attacks on banks in some states across the country in the past few days.
Reacting to the development in a statement issued on Saturday, Akeredolu said the crisis may upset the forthcoming general election.
He said the “failed implementation” of the policy is as a result of “miscalculation, error of judgement and disinformation“ from the apex bank.
The governor insisted that as appealing as the policy appears to be, its implementation drives curiosity as regards the real motive behind it around an election period.
He added, “The mere knowledge that the N1000 and N500 notes represented 82% of the currency in circulation and that the N200 note, whose validity has been extended, by fiat, for another 60 days, represented 7%, expose the mendacious slant in the advice given to Mr President.
“This counsel clearly misrepresented, deliberately, the facts as they existed before the commencement of the implementation of the policy.
“There is pervasive discontent in the land. A policy, presented as currency swap, must not be construed by both the reasonable members and people of average intelligence in the society to convey the deplorable impression of contrived subterfuge manifest in the official confiscation of legitimate deposits of the people in banks, as a counter measure against electoral malfeasance, terrorism and banditry.”
Akeredolu urged Buhari to act by playing the role of a statesman in such a crucial moment.
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the governor said, “I make bold to assert that the unfolding events across the country show that the policy has failed significantly. It is, therefore, expected that the president will halt this needless drift into the abyss of chaos, more so, when the ruling of highest court still subsists.
“I call on the president to allow both the old and new notes co-exist until such a time when normalcy returns to the country. It will be a fitting parting gift for the people of this country, especially the downtrodden, who feel the negative impact of the poorly implemented policy.
“The negative impact which the mediocre and, I dare say, mischievous implementation of the policy by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is having on the poor people and small business owners defeats all the good programmes of the federal government designed to elevate as many people as possible out of the morass of poverty.
“There is no shame in rescinding a decision adjudged not only unpopular and counter-productive, but which also bears the insidious seeds of potential conflagration in the land, one of the ostensible reasons for this ill-conceived policy.”
Akeredolu had on Wednesday claimed the rating of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is no longer favourable as a result of the effects of the naira redesign policy on Nigerians.