Naira Scarcity: I’m deeply pained and I sympathise with you, Buhari tells Nigerians

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President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised to Nigerians over the difficulty experienced in the implementation of the naira redesign policy. The President, who made this known in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday, directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow the new notes available to all citizens.

“Particularly, I am addressing you, as your democratically elected President, to identify with you and express my sympathy, over the difficulties being experienced as we continue the implementation of new monetary policies, aimed at boosting our economy and tightening of the loopholes associated with money laundering,” he said. “Let me re-assure Nigerians that strengthening our economy, enhancing security and blockage of leakages associated with illicit financial flows remain top priority of our administration. And I shall remain committed to my oath of protecting and advancing the interest of Nigerians and the nation, at all times.”

The President also said old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender in Nigeria. He, however, directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release old N200 notes into circulation as legal tender for the next 60 days. The President urged the anti-graft agencies to clamp down on unscrupulous officials in the banking industry hoarding the new naira. ‘I am not unaware of the obstacles placed on the path of innocent Nigerians by unscrupulous officials in the banking industry, entrusted with the process of implementation of the new monetary policy. I am deeply pained and sincerely sympathise with you all, over these unintended outcomes,” he said.

“To stem this tide, I have directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that our citizens are adequately educated on the policy; enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through availability of appropriate amount of currency; and ability to make deposits. “I have similarly directed that the CBN should intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies, so as to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation should be made to bear the full weight of the law.”

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