CSOs challenges FG, CBN on hoarders of Naira notes


File Photo: Suspended CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele with new naira notes

By Angela Atabo

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has urged the Federal Government to direct security and anti-graft agencies to remove the new naira notes allegedly mopped up and being kept in the homes and offices of the few people.

The CSOs said this in reaction to claim by the Federal Government that some people were keeping billions of old Naira notes in well-known places.

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele had also on Feb. 15 accused some politicians of hoarding the redesigned notes.

Emefiele said the mop-up of notes by politicians has contributed to the lengthy queues at banking halls and automated teller machines (ATMs) as citizens struggle to lay their hands on the new naira.

The CBN Governor said this while briefing the diplomatic community on recent monetary policy decisions of the apex bank in Abuja.

“The CBN has also noticed that some politicians are buying the new notes and storing them for political purposes,” he said.

But the coalition of CSOs challenged the Federal Government and the CBN to expose those hoarding the new and old notes.

The coalition, comprising of no fewer than 38 CSOs included; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Say no Campaign, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Connected Development Budget; among others made the call at a news conference on the state of the nation in Abuja.

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“After all, operatives of the State Security Services invaded the residences of alleged corrupt Judges in October 2016 and carted away thousands of dollars and millions of Naira.

They also urged the CBN to publish details of the amount of the redesigned Naira notes disbursed to commercial banks.

“The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said that the billions of the redesigned notes disbursed to the commercial banks have been mopped up by some corrupt politicians.

“To safeguard our democracy and protect the working and living conditions of our people, we call on the Federal Government to put in place measures to ensure that the suffering of the Nigerian people is eliminated and make citizens have access to cash,” they said.

They also urged the Federal Government to make available the lower denominations of the naira for the operations and convenience of citizens.

The CSOs expressed concern over the cracking down of protest adding that the culture of protest should be respected in a democracy, as it is the voice of the people

The representatives of the CSOs at the conference are; Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director CISLAC, Dr Tobi Okuwatoba, Head of CJID, Dr Ibrahim Zikirullahi, CEO CHRICED and Mr Jaye Kaskiya among others .


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