Naira redesign: Reps won’t allow unpopular policies threaten our economy, says Doguwa


 Alhassan Doguwa, the majority leader of the house of representatives, says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes from circulation must be extended in the interest of Nigerians.


Doguwa spoke on Wednesday while briefing journalists in Abuja.


On Tuesday, the house set up an ad hoc committee chaired by Doguwa to meet managing directors of banks and CBN officials over the deadline set by the apex bank.


The meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday at the national assembly.


But briefing journalists who were at the venue, Doguwa said the CBN and bank chief executive officers (CEOs) wrote to the committee requesting that the meeting be shifted to Thursday because the invitation letter was received late on Tuesday.


“On this note, I would like to convey to this committee and members of the public and the press here with us that we have conceded to allow the CBN officials to come tomorrow by 1pm so that we would engage them and immediately after the engagement with them, we would engage the bank operators,” he said.


While warning that the CBN and bank MDs must appear before the committee on Thursday, Doguwa said lawmakers owe the citizens the duty of interrogating government policies that do not sit well with the people.


 “On no account should we have this failure tomorrow. None of us here is acting in his capacity,” he said.


“None of us here is acting for any personal reasons, especially on a matter like this where Nigerian people and economy are threatened by a lot of dangers by the policy of a government department.


“Those of us who are working for the Nigerian people, we cannot sit down here and watch policies of government that are not unpopular — they are threatening the survival of our economy to continue.


“I hear some of them say it is a matter they have decided; it is a matter that no one goes back about it.


“This is the supreme institution of Nigeria’s democracy and I want to say without any fear of contradiction that for whatever policy government is undertaking, especially at a critical period like this, Nigerians must know and whoever is involved must know that definitely, the interest of the Nigerian people holds sway.


“So, there is no policy whatsoever that cannot be reversed — good or bad — as long as that policy or the reversal of that policy is going to be in the overall interest of Nigerians.


“We would not endanger our economy. We would also not allow anybody to endanger our economy. CBN must appear before this communication of the house of representatives tomorrow by 1pm to discuss this very critical matter.


“It borders on the survival of our economy and our people. Businesses are shut down all over. Agriculture is suffering; petty businesses in the villages are also suffering.” 

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