Category Archives: Naira Scarcity Unrest

Naira Scarcity: Sack Emefiele now, ex-gov’ship candidate, Omoragbon tells FG.

Pastor Peters Omoragbon, a former governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP) in Edo State has called for the immediate sack of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

He said “If you ask me, I would advocate that the CBN governor, Mr Emefilele be sacked with immediate effect for his shoddy handling of the entire exercise.”

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Omoragbon who made the call during a chat with the media in Lagos on Thursday, stated that Emefiele was the worst Central Bank governor in the history of Nigeria, and therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack him over the shoddy manner he handled the issue of new naira notes introduction.

He said the claim that the policy was targeted against the politicians could not fly because the politicians were not suffering the effect of the naira swap, rather it was the already impoverished masses who were bearing the brunt.

“Today, how many elites including the politicians are suffering from the effect of this anti-people policy? None! It is the masses that are going about naked and mentally traumatised that are suffering today.”

Read also:Nigerian govt orders oil marketers to accept bank transfer, PoS transactions as naira scarcity bites hard

Omoragbon also noted that by the poor handling of the new naira notes, Emefiele had brought untold hardship to the people of Nigeria and bad image not only to Muhammadu Buhari, but also the entire ruling class.

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“For his shoddy handling of the entire exercise he has brought untoward embarrassment to President Buhari and his team and untoward hardship to the citizens of Nigeria.”

The Edo born politician said that as good as the intentions of the currency policy might have appeared, the timing was and is very bad. “Let me express my disappointment in the wisdom and timing behind the currency swap by the government.

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“As good as the intentions might appear, the timing was and is very bad. You do not execute a policy with a predetermined subjective mind-set in the garb of fighting corruption whereas, it is achieving the exact opposite,” Omoragbon stated


CBN issues fresh promise to commercial banks.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Thursday promised to supply commercial banks with plenty of funds to address the new Naira note scarcity in Kogi State.

Kogi CBN Branch Controller, Ahmed Sule, made the vow while speaking with NAN in his office in Lokoja.

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According to Sule, the scarcity of the new Naira might have resulted in some commercial banks not opening for customers on Wednesday and Thursday.

He said, “I wish to announce to you that we’re expecting our stock of the New Naira notes very soon for distribution to the commercial banks operating here in Kogi.

“We’re aware of the difficult times our fellow citizens are in right now, and we expect the [commercial] banks to help ameliorate the people’s sufferings by dispensing as we so directed them.

“We’ll soon invite them [commercial banks] to come for their allocations as we’re expecting it today, being Thursday.

“What we give the banks is weekly allocations and a very substantial one for the week.”

Naira Redesign: FG Files Objection Against Supreme Court Decision

The federal government Wednesday filed a preliminary objection challenging the application by Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi states against the implementation of the February 10 currency swap deadline.

In the objection filed by Mahmud Magaji (SAN), the federal government argued that the suit ought not to have been brought before the Supreme Court as the reliefs sought were against an agency of the federal government, the CBN on its powers to withdraw old banknotes and introduce new ones under the CBN Act, 2007.

The federal government argued that the Federal High Court had the proper jurisdiction to entertain such suits under Section 251(1)(a)(p)(q) & (r) of the Constitution (exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court).

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While contending that the action before the apex court constituted an abuse of judicial process, the federal government said the state governments have no locus standi and reasonable cause of action to warrant the “invocation of the original jurisdiction of this honourable court.”

Before the objection by the federal government, the Supreme Court earlier yesterday ordered the CBN to allow the use of the old N1000, N500 and N200 notes beyond February 10 and fixed February 15 to hear the case.

A seven-member panel of justices presided by Justice John Inyang Okoro made the restraining order in a unanimous ruling.

Arguing the motion, counsel to the governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) said the matter was important and had come with an affidavit of urgency.

But Magaji Mahmud (SAN), who announced appearance for the Attorney-General of the Federation, was not heard by the apex court being an ex parte motion.

It is just an order not a judgment- Presidency Source

Reacting to the Supreme Court order, a source in the Presidency said: “Generally speaking, it is not a judgment, it is just an order. An ex-parte order is a constitutional leverage specifically given to judges to make an order in exceptional circumstances granting the request of an applicant in a suit in the interim without hearing from the other party.

“The order is only temporary. The judge will hold a full hearing within a short period of time,” he said. Millions of Nigerians have been thrown into confusion following the mopping up of over 1.7trillion old naira notes and the glaring unavailability of the redesigned notes.

The development had led to endless queues in banking halls and ATMs as well as demonstrations in parts of the country.

Extend time – IMF

Lending its voice, the IMF said the CBN should consider extending the February 10 deadline for the swapping of old naira.

The Fund in a statement on Wednesday cited disruptions in trade and payments resulting from the exercise.

“In light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline, should problems persist in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline,” Ari Aisen, the Fund’s Resident Representative to Nigeria, said.

Buhari receives Emefiele, Malami

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele as well as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was held a few hours after the Supreme Court had restrained the federal government from enforcing the deadline of old naira notes.

Daily Trust findings revealed that Emefiele had met with Malami twice on Tuesday ahead of the Supreme Court judgment.

Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council hails S/Court

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu has hailed state governors for standing on the side of the Nigerian people over the CBN new naira policy.

Tinubu in a statement by Bayo Onanuga, the Director, Media and Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council, said the governors and especially the APC governors who instituted the suit against the CBN and federal government at the Supreme Court acted well on behalf of the hapless Nigerians who have been made to bear the brunt of naira redesign policy that has been “poorly implemented.”

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, said the governors have saved the country from needless political and economic crises and miseries, which have clearly become the unintended consequences of the monetary policy of the apex bank.

Also, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has urged the residents of the state, particularly traders, to stop taking the old notes to bank for deposit.

The governor also urged the people to continue transactions with the old notes, saying nobody can stop them even as the February 10 deadline approaches.

The governor also promised the traders and the people of the state that nobody in the state will lose his hard earned money because of the naira redesign policy.

El-Rufai in a video clip seen by Daily Trust on Social media, made the comment on Tuesday at a meeting with leaders of traders in the state. He told them to pass the message to others in their state to stop taking their money to banks.

“Stop taking your money to banks because when you deposit nine naira only one naira will be given to you because the notes are scarce.

“The law says if you have old notes with you even if it takes 100 years and you take it to the central bank it will be accepted. So keep your money with you even if it will take you 100 years,” he said.

Experts proffer solution as IMF seeks deadline extension

Economists and financial experts said yesterday that the only way to resolve the financial crisis in the country is to restore normal cash flow to restart the economy and ease the pains millions of Nigerians are going through.

The experts told the Daily Trust that the issues could be resolved when the right thing is done.

The CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf, welcomed the restraining order of the Supreme Court on the timeline for the currency swap. He said the action will restore normalcy to economic activities, especially in the distributive trade sector, the informal sector and rural economy.

The CPPE reiterates its position that given the huge population of over 200million, the large informal sector, which accounts for over 40% of the GDP, the large rural economy and the over 30 million unbanked Nigerians, the CBN cash swap model and timeline was greatly flawed.

“It is inappropriate to arbitrarily cut down on currency in circulation without due regard to data, empirical studies and global best practices,” he said.

According to Yusuf, “We affirm our position that N2.6 trillion in circulation is not too much for the Nigerian economy with a GDP of about N250 trillion. Any attempt to arbitrarily cut it will create a crisis.

“It is unacceptable that citizens are denied access to their cash deposited for purposes of cash swap. This could undermine the confidence of the citizens in the banking system and pose a major risk to the financial inclusion objective of the CBN.

“In Nigeria, cash to GDP ratio is less than 1.5%; while cash/money supply ratio is just about 5%. These are some of the best currency ratios globally and a mark of the remarkable progress that has been made in cashless policy drive. Cash to GDP in the United States is about 9%; in the Eurozone it is about 10%.

“This underlines the fact that cash is not the problem of the Nigerian economy or monetary policy effectiveness. CBN Ways and Means financing of over N22 trillion is a much bigger problem for liquidity management.

“It is regrettable that a purely monetary policy management issue has been profoundly politicised as witnessed in the past few weeks. This has obscured fundamental economic conversations,” he said.

Also speaking, an economist, Prof. Uche Uwaleke noted that it will be difficult to quantify how much money is in circulation that will determine if Nigeria’s economy is cashless or not. He, however, said that the CBN should increase supply of the new notes and expand its supply channels.

“If CBN says maximum over the counter withdrawals for a week is N500, 000 for individuals, then it should expand the supply chain for the new notes.

“The micro finance banks and more PoS operators should be involved in the supply chain. Also, the lower denominations should be printed more to ensure that the new notes reach Nigerians, especially traders that carry out their functions,” he said.

On the other hand, he urged the CBN to obey the order of the Supreme Court on the February 10 expiration of old notes.

“All over the world, especially where central banks are independent, the conduct of monetary policy is their exclusive preserve- a responsibility not encumbered by either the executive arm or the Judiciary,” he said

Dismiss Suit Challenging Old Naira Notes, FG Tells Court.

The Federal Government has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit challenging the February 10 deadline for the circulation of old naira notes.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which redesigned the naira, had fixed January 31 as the deadline of the old notes to be legal tender.

But the deadline was extended to February 10 after intense pressure on the government and the apex bank.

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‘Extend timeframe for naira redesign implementation’, Governors write Buhari

Tinubu hails govs over S/Court ruling on CBN’s naira swap policy

Last week, Godwin Emefiele said the apex bank was not considering extending the deadline.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors had met with President Buhari over the issue and the president asked them to give him seven days to look into it.

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But the governments of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara states headed for the court to challenge the CBN.

In its ruling on Wednesday, a seven-member panel led by Justice John Okoro halted the Federal Government’s move.

The apex court ordered commercial banks and other financial institutions to continue transacting with the old notes pending the determination of the motion at the apex court on February 15.

In a preliminary objection filed on Wednesday through his lawyers, Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) argued that the Supreme Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

The AGF contended that the plaintiffs have equally not shown reasonable cause of action against the defendant.

Reports of the objection got to the media hours after Buhari, Emefiele and Malami met at Aso Rock over the naira redesign issue

Naira scarcity unrest: Abiodun calls for peace, meets traditional rulers.

Following the protests that rocked Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, over the cash crunch, on Tuesday, the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called on the protesters to stop their protests and allow the outcome of his engagement with the Bankers Forum and the Central Bank to yield fruits.

Gov. Abiodun, who made this known during the statutory meeting of the council of Obas, held at the Oba’s complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria is doing its best to arrest the situation.

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The governor said the matter was being discussed at the highest level with both President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, in the quest to resolve the crisis.

The governor recalled that All Progressives Congress governors had met with President Muhammadu Buhari, pleading that the old naira notes should be allowed to run as legal tender along with the redesigned currency, pending the resolution of the cash crunch crisis.

While calling for calm, the governor said the voices of the protesters had been heard loud and clear and that the government is responding.

“I call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions.

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“It has become necessary to formally appeal to all concerned, having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having conducted series of meetings, along with my brother governors, with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele and security chiefs on the challenges, sufferings and pains being experienced over this cash scarcity and cash swap occasioned by the redesigning of our currency.

“I have also personally had to engage the controller of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Abeokuta and other bank managers to seek relief on the amounts that citizens can withdraw in exchange for deposits made in commercial banks and extracted a commitment that people would have access to their deposited funds without hitches, as CBN will supply adequately to the commercial banks.

“I understand the frustration, disappointments of our citizens queuing at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), waiting to cash money for hours or entering banking halls only to be turned back or given so little that is not enough to meet their immediate needs”, the governor said.

He added that he does not have a doubt that the intention of this policy was not to unleash hardship and suffering on our teeming populace.

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“We will hear from the President as to what steps are being taken to bring succour and relief to Nigerians. My plea to our monarchs being the closest to the grassroots is to ensure the maintenance of peace in their domains with the support of their subjects.

“We will not be where we are in terms of socio-economic development in an atmosphere of insecurity; so we owe a lot to you and my charge to you this afternoon is that you please help us manage this situation.

“Our people will listen to you, they will trust and believe you, please help us to intervene. Ogun State has always had a record of managing our problems in a very different way. When we had #EndSARS, we remained the most peaceful state across the country and I do not have a doubt that in the same manner that we managed ourselves during #EndSARS, we will also do so during this period,” he said.

Governor Abiodun further said it is disheartening to see bank buildings being vandalised and people resorting to violence to register their displeasure.

“We shouldn’t allow our state to descend to that level. We are a peaceful and peace-loving people and the safest state in the country. I want to use this medium to plead with our youths that when there is a problem, the solution is not to hit the streets and to start protest marches; we can not solve a problem with another problem.

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“Civil disobedience will rather exacerbate the anguish in the land. Let us stay away from avoidable loss of lives and properties. Please, let us embrace peace. We are a very peaceful state; we are very orderly and we have spent a lot of time and energy to invest in the peace and security of our people. We must eschew provocation that could lead to a breakdown of law and order.”

In his remarks, the Chairman, Ogun State Council of Obas and the Paramount ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, while thanking the Governor for looking after the welfare of the traditional institution in the state, noted that the 2021 Obas law is a comprehensive piece of legislation.

He charged monarchs in the state to go back and look at the laws all over again as it is meant to give a lot of guidance in terms of appointment of Obas and Coronet Obas