President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed the reasons for his administration’s decision to replace the old naira notes with the new ones.
Speaking on Saturday in a statement by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said the new naira notes were introduced to stop illicit funds, prevent counterfeits, corruption, and terrorist funding.
President Buhari added that the government policy was not designed to harm or cause hardship for the common man but to stabilize and strengthen the economy.
While acknowledging the hardship Nigerians have been facing in trying to swap the old notes for the new ones before the January 31st deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), President Buhari assured that the apex bank is working with the commercial banks on initiatives to stop the long queues and prevent chaos over the distribution of the new naira notes.
The statement reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday assured that government will ensure that citizens are unharmed in their businesses and no disruption is caused to the entire supply chain arising from the currency swap due to end shortly.
“Reacting to reports of long queues of people waiting for hours for their turn to deposit old notes and get new ones, triggering public anger and opposition’s criticism, President Buhari reiterated that the currency changes were aimed at people hoarding illicit funds and not the common man, and that it had become necessary to prevent counterfeits, corruption, and terrorist funding.
“This, he assured, will stabilize and strengthen the economy.
“While taking note that the poorest section of society is facing hardship as they often keep hard cash at home for various expenses, President Buhari gave strong assurances that the government will not leave them to their own fate.
“He reiterated that a number of initiatives by the Central Bank and all commercial banks are underway to speed up distribution of the new notes and do all that is necessary to forestall cash squeeze and chaos.”