Naira redesign will check financial bullying by politicians in 2023- Buhari

As the debates on the proposed redesign of the Naira continues, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that his government aims to check financial intimidations by unnamed politicians who he said had stockpiled the money, ahead of the 2023 general election.

The President who spoke in London where he was receiving medical attention, vowed not to reverse the planned redesign of N1,000, N500 and N200 notes by the nation’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This is as the President applauded the policy announced by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele on October 26, 2022, which he vowed to implement to logical conclusion

“No going back,” President Buhari said of the decision to redesign the three-naira notes.

The introduction of the policy had generated mixed reactions, as many believe the it will further worsen the status of the Naira against other global currencies, as Nigerians rush to convert Naira into Dollars, Pound Sterling and other major currencies to beat the planned effect.

The policy has already led to further fall on the value of the Naira, as more people rush to exchange the currency for the Dollars and British Pound Sterling, leaving the Naira value drop to as low as N850 to the Dollar, because of high demands for the Dollar.

It is not yet clear how the President hopes to achieve his aims, as Nigerian politicians have resorted to the use of the Dollars to buy votes, in place if the local currency.

Osita Nwanjo, an Abuja based legal practitioner however believes that the government may not achieve much because of the renewed preference for the Dollars by Nigerians

“The President’s intention may be good on paper, but we have seen several elections where delegates are wooed with the Dollars, rather than the Naira”

He disclosed that Nigerians already have developed unbridled appetite for the hard currency because of the low value of the local currency which have affected the people’s purchasing power

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But President Buhari said however, that enough time has been given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for Nigerians to deposit the present naira notes at banks in exchange for the newly redesigned ones which will be issued by December 15, 2022.

His words: “On this change of currency, there will be a lot of money but time has been given from October to December, three months is enough for whatever money you have, to get it changed through the legal system. So, I don’t know why people are complaining about it.”

President Buhari also said politicians won’t be allowed to mobilise resources and thugs to intimidate voters in the 2023 general elections.

According to him: “My aim is to make sure that Nigerians believe that we respect them as an administration.

“So, Nigerians should vote for whoever they like from whichever political party. Nobody will be allowed to mobilise resources and thugs to intimidate people in any constituency. That is what I want to go down in Nigerian history for as a leader.