Redesigning naira now does not make political, economic sense – El-Rufai
Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State, has said that the timing of the redesigning of the naira was wrong.
He also said that although the President had the right to make change to the national currency, it does not make political or economic sense at the moment.
El-Rufai made the observation on Wednesday while fielding questions on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.
The Kaduna State governor, however, admitted that redesigning the naira would help to check fraudulent activities by Nigerians and those stashing away illicit funds.
“You have to understand the President. People are blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign, but No. You have to go back and look at the first outing of Buhari as president. He did this; the Buhari-Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy with a view to catching those that are stashing away illicit funds. It is a very good intention. The President has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense,” he said.
El-Rufai, who also addressed other important national issues, including the removal of oil subsidy, said: “This petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed. In fact, I had a discussion with the president and showed him why it had to go.
“Because how can you have a capital budget of N200billion for federal roads and then spend N2trillion on petroleum subsidies?
“This was a conversation I had with the President in 2021 when the subsidy thing started rising. He was convinced. We left. It changed. Everyone in the government agreed, and it changed.”
Read also: Lai Mohammed to El-Rufai: Buhari committed to free, fair election
El-Rufai also alleged that some individuals in Aso Rock Villa were working to frustrate the ambition of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the coming election.
“I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries,” El-Rufai said.
He explained that those working against Tinubu’s victory were those whose APC presidential flag bearer defeated their candidates during the party’s presidential primary election.
“They are trying to get us lose the election, and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.
The governor, who said that he had started to count down to exit office, said his desire was to hand over to a younger person in line with his belief that time has come to give the younger generation the opportunity and persons who understand the system in the state and could continue his development stride.
He said it was that philosophy that was responsible for the emergence of the party’s governorship candidate in the state.
El-Rufai said that Uba Sani emerged the party’s gubernatorial candidate after a rigorous search across the state.
“We tried to bring up several young people, three or four people that we were looking at and I did not want any of my successors to be older than early or mid-40s, and at the end of the day, the person that we narrowed down and the deputy governor was the best when we surveyed.
“We did a survey across the state; I did not just wake up to choose someone; we did a survey and two of them continued to be the top contenders,” El-Rufai said.