FG has informed Nigerians that the Naira scarcity pain is a temporary sacrifice for a saner economy.
NewsOnline reports that the Federal Government has explained the persisting cash scarcity and its attendant pains by Nigerians as a result of the introduction of redesigned naira notes should be seen as a temporary sacrifice to achieve long-term economic sanity.
Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who stated this when she appeared as the 65th guest at the Ministerial Briefing, organized by the Presidential Communication Team, at the State House in Abuja, also said President Muhammadu Buhari is not happy about the situation.
Ahmed likened the current situation being experienced by Nigerians to a patient having a wound or deep sore but must submit to excruciating pain while undergoing treatments.
She, however, said the government is pleased that a huge amount of the funds outside the banking sector have been mopped back into the banking system, which will in turn give the regulatory agencies control over the nation’s currencies.
According to Ahmed, the current hardships, though temporal, are required to stifle corruption and gradually transition into a cashless economy.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, last November, announced the government’s plan to replace the N1000, N500 and N200 notes with newly redesigned versions, fixing the validity of the old versions to January 31, 2023.
Circulation of the new notes became scarce and Nigerians have been subjected to some of the most difficult situations, including strains of commercial activities and procurement of everyday household needs.
The Federal Government extended the deadline last week with 10 more days to allow Nigerians more time to change their old notes for new ones. The situation has yet to ease off.
The First question, rich news is government not worried about the redesign of the hardship that the redesign is causing to the citizens
Responding to the question on the harsh reality, Ahmed said: “Of course we’re not happy that citizens have to queue and struggle at banks ATMs to be able to get their cash, but this is a temporary solution. Let me just give you an analogy.
“If you will have a wound, for you to be able to heal that wound, it needs to be addressed and sometimes when you go to the hospital, they’ll put iodine on the wound and it is very painful, but it’s necessary to do that to be able to get the wound to heal. So it’s not easy and Mr. President is not happy that citizens are 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 and also further explanation that come the closing date that is not all over, that there’s still opportunity for citizens, as provided for in the CBN Act, Section 20, subsection 3, to actually take their old currency to the Central Bank for redemption. So it’s not all over.
“But the positive side of it is that there is a lot of currency that has been mopped up by this operation and it means it has achieved a good level of success, the only sore point is the pain it has caused to citizens, which is regrettable, but which is also very transient and temporary and the bank is continuing to address.”