By Femi Ogunshola
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has urged lawmakers and Nigerians to show understanding, adding that the apex bank was out to combat the incidence of insecurity in the country.
Emefele made the call in Abuja on Tuesday before the House of Representatives’ fact finding ad hoc committee on the scarcity and the deadline for the old Naira notes.
The governor urged those affected by the policy to bear with the CBN, while urging Nigerians to comply with all directives.
”At this initial stage, there will be hitches but it is to make the Nigerian economy better and stronger,” he said.
He said the CBN had deployed its entire staff to go to their locality to sensitise them on the new naira notes, adding that this had achieved a success of over 75 per cent.
He said out of N2.7 trillion old currency notes in circulation it had recovered N1.9 trillion, while commending Nigerians for complying with the implementation of the cashless policy.
”Even if the old notes have exhausted its legal tender status, you can bring it to the CBN; you will not lose your money. We are happy that in 19 years we are able to carry out this mandate.
”The redesigned naira notes and CBN’s cashless policy has moderated inflation in the country and also curtailed the activities of kidnapers and bandits.
”Inflation is moderating, exchange rate is stable and we are hoping that naira can be stronger.
”The incidence of kidnapping and banditry has reduced”, he said, adding that the CBN was aware that in the process of redesigning of naira notes, some would be hurt.
Emefiele said in 2022, the total currency from CBN was N3.2 trillion and more than N2.7trillion was out of banking system making the apex’ banks mandate difficult.
”In 2016, the currency in circulation was N1.4 trillion naira, adding that in Oct. 2022 the currency in circulation rose to N3.23.trillion.
”N2.7 trillion are out of the banking system, it was being held in people’s hands and it makes CBN policy implementation difficult.
”The total amount of money with the CBN was about N500 billion,” he said, adding that the CBN work would not be effective with such amount out of the reach of the apex bank.
He expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the policy implementation after the CBN complained and provided the requisite information on the implication.
He said, the President graciously gave approval on Oct. 6, 2022.
The governor said the CBN has taken a number of actions to ensure that the new note currency circulates.
Responding, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, the Chairman of the committee said the CBN’s appearance was borne out of the respect he has for the institution.
”We invited him twice and he is finally here. This is victory for our democracy, the economy and the people of Nigeria.
”The import of this engagement is based on the mandate of the house through a motion,” he said.
This according to him, bothers on the concerns raised by Nigerians on the policy of naira redesigning and moping out of the old naira notes.
“We felt we have the moral obligation to invite you to engage with Nigerian people. This is a fact finding committee to get the updates of what is happening’’, he said.
He said the committee has extracted some information from bank operators, adding that its major concern was about the lives and livelihood of Nigerians and the economy including the rule of law.
He said the CBN policy has a direct bearing on the lives of the people.
“The cashless policy is a good policy; let’s see how we can partner to make it work. We are under moral obligation to seek clarification from you’’, he said.
He raised concerns of the house that the CBN introduced the policy at a time the country was preparing for the general election.(NAN)