The Presidency has for the first time made an attempt to explain the idea behind the hurried redesign of some naira notes, saying it was mainly targeted at frustrating some elite Nigerians who hoard illicit cash.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in an issued statement yesterday, said contrary to insinuations, it is not targeted at the common man in the streets.
According to the presidency, the Government is not resting on its oars to see that citizens’ businesses are safe.
It regretted the disruption caused to the entire supply chain arising from the swap, assuring that it is due to end shortly.
Recall that since the deadline imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria which is due to elapse on 31st January, there had been reports of long queues of people waiting for hours for their turn to deposit old notes and get new ones.
The development, it was observed, had triggered public anger and widespread criticism.
Shehu, on behalf of the presidency, stated: “The currency changes is aimed at people hoarding illicit funds and not the common man, it became necessary to prevent counterfeits, corruption, and terrorist financing. It will stabilize and strengthen the economy on the long run”.
The Federal Government, however, acknowledged that the poorest section of society is facing untold hardship as they often keep hard cash at home for various expenses.
“Be rest assured that the Government will not leave them to their own fate. A number of initiatives by the Central Bank and all commercial banks are currently underway to speed up distribution of the new note.
“We will take all necessary actions to forestall cash squeeze and chaos”, the presidency noted.