The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has accused commercial banks of being responsible for the scarcity of the new naira notes.
He made the accusation on Tuesday during a meeting with the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the CBN’s cashless policy and the extension of the deadline of the old naira notes, held in Abuja.
Emefiele, who was accompanied to the meeting by all the four Deputy Governors of the CBN, accused the commercial banks of breaching the apex bank guidelines, with the way the new naira was being sprayed in parties.
He said the apex bank was working closely with relevant agencies of the federal government to ensure full compliance with the CBN guidelines issued to the banks for the seamless distribution of the new banknotes.
Emefiele appealed to Nigerians for their support, stressing that the naira redesign will benefit the country in the future and was for the good of Nigerians.
He said: “I addressed the bankers on Sunday and I expressed to them my disappointment and in fact, the disappointment of the president, the disappointment of leaders in the country with the way this has gone on because many of us have unfortunately seen the new naira instead of being used for the purpose it was meant, the new naira is being used in parties, in celebrations.
Some of them (bank CEOs) said well, maybe it’s money from the ATMs and I said no, money from the ATMs are already broken.
They are in leaflets but what we saw being stamped on people at parties were packages of the new naira notes which means they had breached certain aspects of the guidance note we gave to them.
And when I met President Buhari, I told him that we have met with the EFCC, the ICPC and NFIU and that we are now going to bring EFCC, ICPC, NFIU to join us in monitoring the flow of this currency to our people.
I must say that I am even delighted that even yesterday, I read that the DSS has started that, which is what we want so that everybody knows that we are conducting this activity to the best of our ability.
We are doing this for the good of Nigerians. We are doing this so that the Nigerian economy can be better than it is today and I am saying that we are beginning to see some of the benefits.”
Emefiele said the currency redesign policy has so far recorded about a 75 percent success rate since the new naira notes were introduced.
He said many of those in the rural and underserved locations across the 36 states of the country have had the opportunity of swapping their old banknotes for the new series of banknotes.
Emefiele said: “Inflation last month is not rising, not stagnating but somehow moderating. We are expecting that it will continue to moderate. The exchange rate to be stable and we are hoping that with this exercise, the naira can even get stronger.
We know in the process that some will be hurt, I will say temporarily. But it’s a pain that I will appeal to all of us to please show some understanding because the overriding benefits to Nigerians is what we are interested in which is about making our economy stronger then combatting the high incidence of insecurity.
Yes, we saw a few failings on the part of the banks and we appealed to EFCC, ICPC, NFIU; they are currently working with our officials nationwide to make sure that this process goes on seamlessly.
We are happy they the exercise has achieved a success of over 75 percent in our villages, etc. It is on the basis of that we now have a 10 days extension for the more and more of this to be collected and then we make more disbursement.”