Following request by APC governors, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday pleaded with Nigerians to give him maximum seven days to resolve the ongoing cash squeeze across the country.
Persecondnews reports that new Naira notes rationing in banks, ATM and Point of Sales points has degenerated into crisis across the states following the introduction of new naira redesigning and non-release of adequate new notes into circulation by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Buhari made plea at a closed-door interactive session with APC Governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting was called to seek solutions to the cash squeeze and fuel shortage which the governors said has some security implications and threatening the 2023 polls.
In a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari said the currency re-design will give a boost to the economy and provide long-term benefits while expressing doubts about the commitment of banks in particular to the success of the policy.
He said: “Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves.
“Even if a year is added, problems associated with selfishness and greed won’t go away,” he said.
Buhari said he had seen footages on television about how cash shortages had affected local businesses and transactions and gave assurances that the balance of seven of the 10-day extension will be used to crackdown on whatever stood in the way of successful implementation.
“I will revert to the CBN and the Minting Company. There will be a decision one way or the other in the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension.”
Earlier, the Governors had told the President that while they agreed that his decision on the renewal of currency was good and are fully in support of it, the implementation had been poor with the people becoming restive.
They told the President that as leaders of the government and party in their different states, they were becoming apprehensive about a slump in the economy and the upcoming elections.
They asked Buhari to allow the circulation of both the new and old notes till the end of the year.
Kaduna Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, had on Thursday called for a review of the cash swap policy which, he said, is targeted at the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu’s election bid by those he called “some elements within the Villa.”
He was at the meeting also attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, told waiting for correspondents after the meeting that there would be no briefing, saying that a statement would be issued on the outcome.
Other APC governor at the meeting include Ebonyi, Ogun, Imo, Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Lagos, Kano, Kwara, and Niger States.
Kano Gov. Umar Ganduje told correspondents that the governors requested the President to extend the deadline for the swapping of old currency with the redesigned notes.
“Our request is for the deadline to be shifted. Not only shifted but the old currency should go along with the new currency until the old currency dies a natural death. Which is possible.”