A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Concerned Nigerians, CN, has thrown its weight behind the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, urging him not yield to pressure from the National Assembly, NASS, over extension of 31 January deadline for withdrawal of old N1,000, N500 and N200 redesigned Naira notes. Reacting to the directive of NASS to the CBN to extend the deadline for the exchange of old Naira notes from the January 31 deadline to July 31, 2023, the Convener, CN, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, condemned the directive by NASS, and said the CBN remains legally an independent agency of government that cannot be cowed to do the bidding of NASS based on the Act establishing the CBN.
Adeyanju also said that the directive by NASS to CBN does not hold water in any way, because the CBN is on the right path to rescue the economy and stop vote buying ahead of the 2023 general elections by politicians who have perfected plans to win elections through vote buying with billions of Naira, hence they are fighting the Apex bank’s Governor, and he declared that he stands with Emefiele. He said “the reason why I stand with Emefiele on this on the deadline of 31 January is that when January 31 comes and when it begins to pump the new Naira notes into the economy there will not be enough money for politicians to gather enough money to buy votes. The whole idea is to prevent vote buying and I see the wisdom in it. On whether Nigerians will have access and how much are Nigerians withdrawing from the banks, have CBN stopped Nigerians from doing online transfers, using their ATM cards, and why should people carry cash to do everything in Nigeria?
“The people that need this cash most are the politicians and that is why they are panicking? They want to stockpile billions of Naira to buy votes and that cannot happen because there is limitation on withdrawals. So no political party or individual will have enough time from now to the elections to gather billions of Naira to buy votes across the 36 States and the FCT. It is a wonderful innovation and this will go a long way to minimise vote buying. The CBN is an independent agency of government, the National Assembly cannot be directing it on what to do if you look at the Act establishing the CBN; the legislative arm of government cannot be interfering in its activities. So this directive from the National Assembly does not hold any water and of no use and effect.” On his counsel to the CBN Governor, “My message to Emefiele is he should stand firm on this issue and deadline. Also whether he stands firm or not they will still remove him so the better thing he should do is to stand firm than be crying over this deadline so that let him be remembered for something. He should stand firm and strong on this issue.”