• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Why we fault CBN on naira swap policy – Lawan

Senate President Lawan meets Abdulsalami, IBB in Minna

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Friday advanced reasons why the National Assembly is opposed to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s naira swap and design policy.

Lawan while fielding questions from State House Correspondents, after attending the National Council of State meeting at the Presidential Villa, said the lawmakers faulted the implementation strategy adopted by the apex bank.

Lawan blamed the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, “ for not properly thinking through” before implementing the policy which has continued to attract criticisms.

Read also: Nigeria’s e-payment transaction surge 55% in January 2023

“For us in the Senate, initially we felt that this policy in the first place is not a bad one. But we also feel there is no need for time limit.

Lawan advised that “both the old and the new notes should be allowed to co-exist until the old is phased out.

“So, what is wrong in that? This is not going to be the first country to deploy it that way, other countries have been doing the same thing.

“ To say that in three months it will be okay, it is not okay. Especially in a country like ours where maybe 80, 85, 90 percent of the population have no access to banks.

“When Britain changed their currency, it took them over a year to change and the validity of the old remains and remains a legal tender, so why ours? We are not cashless yet and that society is cashless already and they needed even more time.

“So, we should have an open-ended time but what will make it quick is for us to have more and and more of the new currencies and then they co-exist with the old ones until the old dies a natural death.”

Lawan, speaking against the backdrop of the suffering encountered by Nigerians in accessing funds to run daily business activities, described the suffering as “ unnecessary and uncalled for”.