The All Progressives Congress (APC) Professional Forum has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to review the timing of the implementation of the naira re-design policy.
Malam Isa Yuguda, Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT)of the forum said this a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
“We call on Buhari to consider all options, including, but not limited to a further extension of the time for the old currency to cease to be legal tender.
“So as not to further overheat the economy with the likelihood of unintended consequences.
“We also believe that the position of governors elected on the platform of our party on the need to allow both old and new naira notes to co-exist for some time is a strong point.
“This should not be brushed aside in national interest,” Yuguda, also a former governor of Bauchi State said.
Yuguda said the forum was compelled to address the media on the tensed socio-economic environment in the country caused by fuel and new naira notes scarcity.
He faulted the persistent scarcity of petrol at filing stations nationwide and the exorbitant cost of the product above the regulated pump price where it was available.
He also decried the widespread discontent and difficulties arising from the implementation of the well intended currency re-design policy of the Federal Government.
Yuguda, however, commended Buhari for setting up a 14-member committee to resolve the lingering fuel shortage, expressing hope that the situation would be addressed within the shortest possible time.
“This is especially as this administration has during its lifetime had a very good track record with respect to stability of fuel supply across the country with only occasional disruptions that are usually addressed with commendable efficiency.
“Rightly or wrongly,the disruption is being viewed in many quarters as sabotage and we are eagerly looking forward to a return to normalcy across the country and not only in Abuja.
“This is especially as the situation is being milked for political mileage which is clearly not good for the ruling party in the run up to the forthcoming general elections,” he said.
Yuguda added that the forum however, saw nothing entirely wrong with government’s decision to embark on naira re-design to address distortions in the economy.
He said that the forum’s concerned was on the mode of implementation, which had caused untold hardship on Nigerians in virtually every part of the country.
“At this point, let us commend President Buhari for heeding the call for an adjustment in the deadline for the old currency to cease to be legal tender till Feb. 10.
“But in view of the chaos and near anarchy in some parts of the country, we are of the view that the situation may require more efforts and steps.
“This is necessary in order to address the possibility of major social upheavals as the elasticity of the average citizen is stretched to a breaking point.
“It is our considered view that the timing of the implementation of this laudable policy should be urgently reviewed,”the forum’s BoT chairman said. (NAN)