Zainab Ahmed
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Old Naira notes swap: Pres. Buhari unhappy about Nigerians’ sufferings, passing phase — Minister

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said on Thursday that the Federal Government is fully aware of the current sufferings and pains faced by Nigerians but insisted that the pain is necessary for the greater good of the country on the long run.

Featuring at the 65th session of the Presidential Ministering briefing at State House, Ahmed said of particular note is the current queues at ATMs and banks for cash withdrawals which she described as worrisome.

She, however, assured that it is a temporary phase that will phase out soon.

“Of course, we are worried, we are not happy that citizens have to queue and struggle at bank ATMs to be able to get their cash but this is temporary solution, let me give you an analogy.

“If you have a wound for you to be able to heal that wound it has to be dressed, and sometimes when you go to the hospital, they will put iodine on the wound but it’s very painful, but it’s necessary to do that to be able to get the wound to heal,” the minister told newsmen.

She also expressed President Buhari’s concern about the current hardships Nigerians are facing at this period, saying “it’s not easy and Mr President is not happy that citizens are really suffering.

“But we are convinced that it is something that needs to be done at this time, and also the Central Bank has been responsive in terms of providing some extension.”

In a swift development just few minutes after the minister’s briefing, the CBN released a communique directing deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence payment of the redesigned Naira notes over the counter and also assuring Nigerians that queues witnessed across the country will be over very soon.

The statement by Mr Osita Nwanisobi, the Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN and obtained by Persecondnews said: “While reiterating our commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective distribution of the newly introduced Naira bank notes, we urge them to exercise patience as the CBN is working assiduously to address the challenge of queues at ATMs.

“In line with this resolve, the Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payments of the redesigned Naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000.”

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