The Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi has thrown his weight behind the naira redesign embarked upon by Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the CBN extended the deadline day for old currency submission to February 10 from the January 31 deadline it earlier issued.
But despite the extension, many Nigerians were subjected to the pain of inadequate cash supply at the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and the bank counter.
There have been a series of protests by many Nigerians against the policy as they argued that it was further impoverishing the poor.
Peter Obi in a message on his Twitter handle called on Nigerians to exercise more patience with the Federal Government and the CBN, noting that the policy has long-term effects.
Obi further advised that the CBN and the banks to fasten move to make the “new currency available to small depositors and the unbanked in order to reduce the pains of my fellow Nigerians, especially the underprivileged and those living far away from banks”
In his words:
“The currency redesign is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is an exercise that comes with some inconvenience and pain but it has significant long-term economic and social benefits. Even though there are improvements that can be made.”
Going further, he said;
“I urge Nigerians to bear with the CBN and Federal Government with the hope that the general populace and Nigeria will harvest the gains that will come with the reforms.”
“We equally implore the CBN and the banks to expedite efforts to make the new currency available to small depositors and the unbanked in order to reduce the pains of my fellow Nigerians, especially the underprivileged and those living far away from banks in the rural areas – PO”.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu has criticized the policy despite the fact that it’s a policy from the government of his political party. The APC flagbearer said the currency redesign was been done by cabals to sabotage him and his chances in the presidential polls.
His views were echoed by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai who said the currency redesign makes no political and economic sense.
Other APC stalwarts have criticized the policy, with some of them averring that it would reduce their party’s chances at the polls.