Buhari Unhappy With Hardship Faced By Nigerians Due To Naira Redesign Policy, Says Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Thursday said that President Muhammadu Buhari is unhappy with the hardship currently faced by Nigerians due to the naira redesign policy.


The minister said this at a media briefing organised by the presidential communications team in Abuja on Thursday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had given a deadline of January 31 for the use of old notes — but it was last Sunday shifted to February 10.

Despite the extension, Nigerians are still experiencing long queues at banking halls and automated teller machines (ATMs) amid the scarcity of new naira notes.

THE WHISTLER had on Wednesday reported that the scarcity of cash currently being experienced as a result of the implementation of the new Naira redesigned policy has forced Point of Sale Operators to impose a charge of N1,000 on withdrawal of N5,000.

Findings in the city centre and within the satellite towns showed that the charges were imposed by the POS merchants as a result of the paucity of cash in most of the banks in Abuja.


While many of the POS terminal visited had their shops locked because of shortage of cash, the few that operated imposed very huge charges on cash withdrawal.

In Bwari for instance which is about 35 kilometers to the city centre, many of the POS operators charged between N1,000 and N1,500 for withdrawal of N10,000 while for N5,000 withdrawal, the sum of between N500 and N700 was imposed as transaction charges.

Speaking in a chat with THE WHISTLER, one of the POS merchants identified as Abdulahi said that it has become very difficult to get cash from both the banking hall and the Automated Teller Machines.

He said, “There is shortage of cash here in Bwari because many of the banks’ ATM are not dispensing cash. The few ones that are working had plenty of queues. I am a businessman and it will not be profitable for me to do business in a manner that will make me incur loss.

“We spend so much time on the queues to get this cash and if after spending two or three hours on the queue and I’m only able to get few cash, you won’t expect me to give it out to customers without adequate compensation.”


In Gwarimpa, findings revealed that it costs a charge of about N2,000 to withdraw the sum of N10,000.

One of the POS merchants told THE WHISTLER that the inability to get adequate cash from the banks was responsible for the huge charges.

Describing the situation as “temporary and transient”, Ahmed said it was a necessary price to pay for the nation’s economy to burgeon.

She said, “We are not happy that citizens have to queue and struggle at ATMs to be able to get their cash. But this is a temporary situation,” the minister said.

“Let me just give you an analogy. If you have a wound, for you to be able to heal that wound, you need to be dressed.

“And sometimes, when you go to the hospital, they put iodine on the wound and it is very painful. It is necessary to do that to be able to get the wound to heal.


“So, it’s not easy. Mr. President is not happy that citizens are suffering.

“But we are convinced that it is something that needs to be done at this time and also the Central Bank has been responsive in terms of providing some extension and also further explanation that it is not all over.
“There is still opportunity for citizens as provided for in the CBN Act, Section 20 subsection 3 to actually take the old currency to the central bank for redemption.”
Ahmed said the naira redesign policy would help to combat corruption.

She added that it has had some positive effects with the mop up of cash outside the banking system.


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