Atiku backtracks, says CBN naira redesign policy hurting ordinary citizens


Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow commercial banks to accept deposits of the old naira notes.


Over two weeks ago, Atiku backed the currency redesign policy, advising the apex bank not to extend the February 10 deadline for the demonetisation of the old naira notes.

The former vice-president also said any further extension would destroy the purpose and objective of the policy.


 “I am totally in support of building a cashless economy and reducing the amount of cash in our economy,” Atiku had said.


But in a social media post on Sunday, he called on the CBN to release the new notes as “a matter of urgency”.


This, he said, would ease the suffering of the masses in getting access to their “legitimately earned money”.


 “The CBN currency policy is hurting ordinary citizens and those who legitimately earned their money,” Atiku said.


“The apex bank should, as a matter of urgency, allow commercial banks to join the CBN in the collection of the deposits of old N500 and N1000 notes.


“The new currency should be immediately made available in sufficient quantities to alleviate the suffering of the masses.


“I assure you that when we come to power by the mandate of your votes, the PDP administration will not allow any Nigerian who legitimately earned their money to lose a single kobo of it.


 “You can take that promise to the bank because our aim is to create prosperity and not to impoverish our people.”


President Muhammadu Buhari recently announced the extension of the validity of old N200 notes till April 10.


He also directed the CBN to recirculate the old N200 notes to ease the ongoing cash crunch.


A few hours after the directive, Godwin Emefiele, the governor of CBN, met with 15 heads of commercial banks on the matter and assured Nigerians that the old N200 notes will be made available immediately.


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