The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, says the excuse of security threats pushed by Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has no bearing on the ongoing currency swap across the country.
Ganduje had in an interactive session with crtical stakeholders, including scholars, legislators, political leaders and business community in the state, revealed that his administration had requested the president to postpone his official visit to the state.
The governor said the state was deeply concerned about the hardship principally induced by the ongoing cash swap from old to redesigned Naira notes.
He said the decision was taken to avoid any unforeseen circumstance.
However, the CBN governor debunked Ganduje’s assertion, saying: “I don’t understand the relationship between the CBN policy and security challenges in Kano State.”
Emefiele noted that the apex bank had achieved compliance and recorded huge success in the ongoing currency swap across the country.
He noted that all new currencies had security features that make them easy for tracking to bank branches, and the process had begun to deal with defaulters and those who breached the programme.
“Even if they are CBN staff, they will be sanctioned,” Emefiele warned.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari had earlier on Sunday morning approved extension of the ongoing currency swap by 10 days, moving the deadline from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10.
The president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, who confirmed this in a statement, said Buhari gave the approval at a meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Daura, Katsina State.
He urged more time, discretion and order to enable Nigerians successfully change their currencies to the redesigned notes, and reduce the risk of loss, especially among the underserved in rural areas.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the CBN governor said the currency swap had achieved more than 75 per cent success rate of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system.
According to him, this achievement can be seen with drop in rate of inflation, more stability of foreign exchange rates, and noticeable impact on security, especially in banditry and kidnapping figures.
The CBN governor noted that redesigns were supposed to be every five to eight years.
“First, I will like to thank Mr President for giving the CBN the approval to embark on this ambitious programme because, like I said, in the past, the CBN has not had the opportunity to embark on such currency redesign programme in last 19 years.
”And indeed, let me emphasise that only an incorruptible leader of the President’s stature can give such approval to the CBN,” he said.