Group Drums Support For Naira Redesign Policy
By Elizabeth Christopher, Abuja
Some Nigerians under the aegis of Pro Nigeria Group has stormed parts of Abuja, the Country’s capital and the Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN Head Office in support of the recent CBN policy on naira redesign.
The protesters were seen displaying various placards with inscriptions like ” read: “Na who wan buy votes be criminal, support the CBN.”;‘Mr. President expose their corruption” “We believe in Nigeria” “Good Nigerians support the new CBN naira policy” and “CBN expose the hoarders of the naira.”
The protest is coming even as some Nigerians have condemned the policy saying it was politically motivated, ill timed and that the cash crunch being experienced has slowed economic activities.
Addressing journalists, the convener of Pro Nigeria Group, Mr. Isaac Balami, said the group backed the CBN policy because it was good for the economy.
“We are here as concerned Nigerian citizens and not as political parties. We are here to talk about the monetary policy at the CBN.
“The CBN had given 10 days extensions and the politicians in this country are trying to play politics, to blackmail the CBN and possibly blackmail the president to go back on his 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,” he explained.
He further stated that the CBN had released enough money to all the banks, but politicians are buying it at a higher cost at the black-market rate, thereby frustrating the citizens to go against the CBN.
Addressing the Protesters, the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Osita Nwanisobi assured Nigerians that the overall objective of the policy was for the good of the people.
“When the governor assumed office in 2014 he made it very clear that he will lead a people centred central bank and that the policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria will be such policies that will affect the lives of Nigerian people positively, irrespective of class, political persuasion and that is what we are doing, then if you see what has happened with this naira redesign, like the governor has always said a situation where you have 2.7 trillion Naira outside of the banking system in the pockets of people, held up in homes and bunkers and everywhere does not augur well for the Nigerian economy and it’s the major reason for the naira redesign.
“We are saying that these money should come back to the financial institution, and also permeate the banking system so that we will be able to control the money supply in the system and also make our monetary policy very effective. And that is what we are doing.
“We are fully persuaded that what we are doing is for the benefit of the Nigerian people. We are very apolitical we do not belong to any political persuasion but what we know is that this is not targeted at anybody.
“We are fully persuaded that the Central Bank of Nigeria will see through this policy and I can assure you now you will talk about some of the pains and the difficulties. Yes, we know that there is always a kind of trade off in policies, often times there are certain pains that would come along the way but the central bank is doing everything possible to ensure that the new notes permeate and circulates across Nigeria and every part of this country.
Mr. Nwanisobi who maintained that the decision was not politically motivated pleaded with Nigerians to be patient as the policy would benefit everyone, even as the monetary authority would have a better control of money supply and make proper planning for the economy.