Naira scarcity: Nigerians are starving | Buhari unwilling to call Emefiele to order, says NEF


The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) says President Muhammadu Buhari is “unwilling” to call Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to order concerning the naira redesign policy.


Speaking on Tuesday in an interview on Channels Television, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF spokesperson, said Nigerians are “starving and angry” over the lingering scarcity of the naira notes.


Baba-Ahmed said the naira scarcity is a “major demarketing thing” for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the February and March polls.


He said Buhari knows what to do if he does not want to see Nigerians suffer over the naira scarcity.


 “We got here because President Buhari has messed up right to the point he is going to go,” he said.


“To have allowed this kind of fiasco to exist on the eve of an election when you are actually campaigning to have your own party voted for.


“This money thing is a major demarketing thing for the APC


 “If the worst enemy of APC had designed a strategy for them to lose this election, he couldn’t have chosen a better strategy than this fiasco around the reprinting of the naira.


“People are starving, that is the honest truth. Literally, in three to four weeks, you have destroyed the informal sector of the economy. Because there is no cash. There is a lot of anger.


“You see a situation where the President appears unwilling or incapable of reining in Emefiele and say, ‘Listen, perhaps we can allow the old naira and the new naira co-exist for the next six months’.


“President Buhari apparently doesn’t listen to anybody. Emefiele said I will do what I should do because the president got my back.


 “And Nigerians are saying we know the governor of the CBN is not the guy who is doing all these difficult things for us, it is the president.


“If the president doesn’t want all this suffering and considering the other options, the governor of the CBN won’t get away with these things he is getting away from.”




Nigerians have been battling with the scarcity of new naira notes— a development that has led to queues at banking halls, and automated teller machine (ATM) points.


There have been protests in some parts of the country due to the scarcity of new naira notes.


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had given a deadline of January 31 for the use of old naira notes — but it extended it to February 10.


On February 8, the supreme court temporarily restrained the federal government from banning the use of the old naira notes from February 10, 2023, pending the hearing of the matter on February 15.


Despite the court’s order, Emefiele insisted on the deadline.


The stance of the CBN governor has triggered confusion as filling stations, supermarkets, and other business owners have continued to reject the old naira notes.


On Wednesday, the apex court adjourned the hearing of the case brought against the CBN on the naira redesign policy to Wednesday, February 22.

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