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The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has said that his counterparts are not affected by the naira redesign policy because “they are owners of banks”.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele had in October 2022, announced the plan to redesign N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and fixed January 31, 2023, as the deadline when the old notes will cease to be legal tender.
Despite the apex bank recently announcing the postponement of the deadline to February 10, several Nigerians have found it hard obtaining the new naira notes.
President Muhammadu Buhari has backed the policy and described it as having the potential to deter politicians from “mobilising resources to intimidate voters in the 2023 general election”.
Reacting on Thursday during an interview on Channel Television programme, Sunrise Daily, Kwankwaso said politicians, particularly candidates in the next month’s elections, are unaffected by the policy.
According to the former Kano State governor, the elite has an influence on banks in the states, and would not feel any impact of the scarcity of currency.
Kwankwaso said, “We in the NNPP are not comfortable with the three months and even the 10 days they are talking about. Many people who are in Abuja who are in the comfort of their offices or homes wouldn’t understand what is happening outside there.
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“What the government is saying has to do with people who would want to take too much money, like leaders and politicians. They don’t know that many of our colleagues, those who are contesting, especially the presidential candidates, and by extension all those in their parties are owners of the banks.
“And not only that, people close to them have banks everywhere. So, they will lose nothing. PDP has governors, and APC has governors. Governors by now would have collected so much money from the banks in their states.
“If their friends have got banks, I’m sure one or two of them may have banks or own large shares in some of these banks.
“Some people in politics may for some strategic reasons be complaining but those complaining I believe is just a gimmick, I don’t believe that they mean it. We believe they don’t have issues.”