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Peter Obi

Naira Scarcity: Peter Obi Calls for Calm, Appeals to Nigerians to Bear with FG, CBN

*Urges apex bank to expedite circulation of new currencies

*UBA GMD: CBN, banks addressing challenges associated with new naira disbursement
[2/6, 07:24] Mummy Favour: *Atiku alleges APC conniving with banks to hoard new N1000, N500, N200

*Police warn against lawlessness in Kwara as governor calls for calm

*MAN decries hiccups in implementation, says manufacturers will suffer 25% drop in sales

Onyebuchi Ezigbo, James Emejo in Abuja, Amby Uneze in Owerri, Dike Onwuamaeze, Ugo Aliogo in Lagos and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi has appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with the federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria over the challenges associated with the circulation of the new banknote, just as he appealed to the banking sector regulator to expedite action with its circulation.This was just as the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Oliver Alawuba, at the weekend expressed support for the naira redesign project of the CBN, saying the apex bank and deposit money banks (DMBs) were working towards addressing challenges associated with the project.However, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, yesterday alleged that some bank executives were conniving with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to frustrate the distribution of the new naira notes in a bid to frustrate the policy.Speaking also on the matter, Kwara State governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, called for more supply of the new naira notes to ease things for the masses and stabilise the currency swap policy.But the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Oye, has argued that contrary to the notion that the introduction of new naira notes would checkmate vote buying during forthcoming elections, politicians who are used to the act may still find ways to engage in the criminal act.The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) projected that the bottleneck militating against the effective implementation of the policy would cost manufacturers a 25 per cent decline in sales of manufactured products.
Obi, who spoke on Arise News Channel, yesterday, admitted that currency redesign was not peculiar to Nigeria and that it has long time economic and societal benefit but with a short time inconveniences and pain.While calling on people of Nigeria to cooperate with the federal government and the CBN in addressing difficulties that come with the exercise, he called on the apex bank and other commercial banks to expedite action to make the new notes available to the various classes of the society, especially the masses and the unbanked.Speaking further, the presidential candidate stated that there was nowhere the exercise would take place that would not come with some hitches.He cited the example of India when the Asian country embarked on similar currency redesign and how Indians encountered difficulties during the process, which according to Obi later yielded a bountiful long term economic advantage for the people and their country.“Currency redesign is not peculiar to Nigeria. This is an exercise that has long-term economic and social benefits, but comes with short-term inconveniences and pain. My appeal to Nigerians is that we should have patience with the federal government and the CBN, while at same time appealing to the CBN and the banks to expedite actions that would ensure that these new currencies are available to small depositors, small businesses, the unbanked and people in rural areas.“I believe the CBN can make it available as quickly as possible. Everywhere there have been redesign of currency in a third world country, it comes with challenges and in some instance riots.
“Look at what happened in India, there were riots. But today, India is better off and their economy benefitted better. This policy was announced on 26th of October, 2022 and they gave extra 10 days and all of a sudden people are rioting and behaving as if it came overnight.“For me, it is the poor people I see on the queues that we should quickly deal with as quickly as possible and I urge the CBN to deal with the issue of the low depositors and those who live in rural and unbanked areas. It is critical and it is important. I am also urging Nigerians to bear with them. We have redesigned our currencies, we can’t do anything about it. Government has taken a decision and we can’t be using two currencies at same time. So, the decision has been taken, let’s run with it.”
UBA GMD: CBN, Banks Addressing Challenges Associated with New DisbursementIn a related development, Alawuba at the weekend expressed support for the naira redesign project of the CBN, saying the apex bank and deposit money banks (DMBs) were working towards addressing challenges associated with the project.Alawuba, who said redesigning of the N200, N500 and N1000 denominations would support monetary policy, however, pointed out that the hardship Nigerians are currently passing through would easy off soonest.Speaking after being conferred with an honorary doctoral degree in Banking and Finance at the 8th convocation ceremony of the Imo State University, Owerri, he said the new policy would stabilise the naira.Alawuba assured that banks were working assiduously with the central bank to address the present hardship faced by Nigerians in accessing the new naira notes.He said, “The redesign of the naira is a positive policy that will support the economy in the long run. It’s true that we are passing though transition period and I believe that the CBN is working with banks to make sure that the aspiration and purpose of the redesign come into fruition for the good of the country.”On the allegations that the banks were are frustrating the intentions of the naira redesign, Alawuba urged Nigerians to focus rather on the positive sides of the policy.He urged private sector to work in harmony with the public sector to ensure that the purpose of the naira redesign was achieved.Whilst congratulating Alawuba, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. U.U. Chukwumaeze pointed out that the conferment was in recognition of Alawuba’s contribution to redefining Public Sector Banking in Nigeria and across Africa.“The honour is in recognition of your numerous contributions to the financial sector in Nigeria and Africa and as one of the major drivers who contributed to taking modern banking to all state capitals and major cities in Nigeria where hitherto most banks primarily concentrated on the major commercial centres of the country,” Chukwumaeze stated.
Speaking after receiving the recognition, Alawuba expressed his appreciation to the leadership of the university for the honour extended to him, just as he attributed his success to God and hard work. He took time out to encourage the students to stay focused and diligent whilst congratulating other fellow awardees.Alawuba said. “I am grateful to the management of IMSU for the honour and recognition, and I want to thank the amiable governor, the VC and other top executives of this great institution for the honour that you have shown me today. I promise that I will continue to do my best to make this school and indeed the indigenes of this great state proud. I also seize this opportunity to advise the young ones to be focused and put their best in their studies, so that one day they will also be recognised globally.”The visitor of the university and Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, said his administration would do all the needful to help the university, fulfil noble expectation of rising to the challenge of assuming greater responsibility to move the State forward.The governor spoke in his capacity as the Visitor of Imo State University during the 8th Convocation Ceremony which held at the Convocation Ground in Owerri.No less than 5000 graduands comprising first degrees, post graduate diplomas, higher degrees and honorary degrees from 2014- 2015 set up to 2021-2022 set which produced 30 first class graduates were convoked.
APC Conniving with Banks to Hoard New Naira Notes, Atiku AllegesThe presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has alleged that some bank executives were conniving with the ruling APC to frustrate the distribution of the new naira notes in a bid to frustrate the policy.Special Assistant on Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, made the allegation in a statement yesterday, while reacting to a statement by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.Shaibu said the viral videos showing government agencies busting banks hoarding the new naira notes was clear evidence of sabotage.He said, “Intelligence reaching us is that the APC is in collusion with some top bank executives to frustrate the policy of the CBN. As shown in several trending videos posted by government agencies on social media, hundreds of millions of naira are in bank vaults but the banks are deliberately refusing to distribute them.
“It is no secret that all the commercial banks are headquartered in Lagos where Bola Tinubu holds sway as godfather.“The ultimate goal is to frustrate the policy so that the APC will be able to bring out the old notes it has stashed for the sole purpose of vote buying and distribution with bullion vans. For this reason, we commend the EFCC and the ICPC for exposing these unscrupulous bankers.”Shaibu lambasted Gbajabiamila, for using his position as the 4th most senior elected official in the country to play cheap politics.He advised Gbajabiamila to play decent politics like the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.He added, “It is the height of idiocy for the nation’s number four citizen to play cheap politics with a monetary policy introduced by his own party which is in power. Gbajabiamila wishes to become the chief of staff to Tinubu in the event that Tinubu wins so his overzealousness is quite understandable.“However, his attempt to bring Atiku into this issue shows how mischievous he is. Gbajabiamila summoned the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, last week where they reached an understanding and issued a resolution which the House and the CBN agreed to.
But because he is already seeing the imminent defeat of his master at the polls, he is now playing dirty politics.“Nigerians must note that this is a policy being implemented by an APC government. However, the likes of Gbajabaimila are too timid to approach President Buhari to reverse this policy. His aversion for this CBN policy has nothing to do with the masses. It is about the inability of his master to deploy bullion vans on election day.”Shaibu described Gbajabiamila as a hypocrite who pretends to be on the side of the masses during crisis but is actually working for his own selfish reasons.He recalled that during the eight-month strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Gbajabiamila pretended to be on the side of the lecturers only for him to abandon them at sea.Shaibu said, “Gbajabiamila promised the lecturers that they would be paid their arrears. After the lecturers called off their strike, he denied making the statement in the first place. Such a liar should not be believed by the masses.“When dirty petrol was imported last February, Gbajabiamila set up a committee to investigate it. Till date he has done nothing about it. The fuel scarcity has continued to linger for over eight months but he remains mute.
“This is the same man who scuttled the ongoing probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) at the House of Representatives for selfish reasons.”“However, huge volumes of the new notes must not get into the hands of unscrupulous politicians who plan on using bullion vans to distribute money on election day. The desperate APC must not be allowed to steal this election,” he said.Also, the PDP has called on the CBN to monitor distribution of new Naira notes and also provide mobile banks in rural areas. The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba in a statement issued yesterday, also decried the excruciating pain and distress being faced by Nigerians arising from their inability to access the new naira notes.He said the pain was occasioned by the reported nefarious activities of corrupt All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders who were allegedly compromising the system to intercept and hoard the new bank notes for their selfish vote-buying plans ahead of the February 25, 2023, presidential election.The main opposition party expressed sadness that the cash crunch had persisted due to the alleged sabotage of corrupt APC leaders, including the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was alleged to have masterminded the intercepting and hoarding of the new notes for their selfish agenda.
The PDP said it was disgusted by the hypocrisy being exhibited by the APC presidential candidate, who, despite his alleged role in the cash scarcity was pointing accusing fingers at others and seeking to exploit the ugly situation to incite unsuspecting Nigerians with the view to disrupting the 2023 general elections.Ologunagba said Tinubu and his apologists in the APC were aware that he had no chance in the election and thus are devising all manner of shenanigans to overheat the polity, derail the electoral process and force an undemocratic situation upon country.He, however, expressed optimism that the hopelessness and anguish brought upon the nation by the APC administration would be a thing of the past when the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar assumes office as President come May 29, 2023.The PDP called on president Muhammadu Buhari to protect Nigerians by going after these felonious APC leaders as well as the saboteurs in the system who are reportedly working with the APC Presidential Campaign to mop up cash meant for distribution to our citizens.

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