President Muhammadu Buhari said Thursday that the cashless policy and Naira swap by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have short and long term benefits for the country in dealing with insecurity and corruption.
The President who spoke at the State House when he received briefing from members of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on cashless policy and Naira swap said the apex bank should take the recommendation of the parliamentary committee to rectify identified problems.
His comments came as the Governor of CBN Mr Godwin Emefiele assured that the N200 currency notes taken out of circulation would be moved back from today.
The President said his broadcast to the nation was comprehensive and adequate as a response to the general outcry about the problems associated with the currency exchange.
He said the policy was “very good, security-wise” as seen from the lessening of kidnappings and associated corrupt practices.
The President again accused banks of being a problem on the implementation of the policy.
The CBN Governor, as directed by the President, explained that the cashless policy was a global policy.
“Nigeria must go cashless. It is a global policy, checking insecurity and fighting corruption,” he said.
He said that senior officers at the CBN had all been sent out, complimented by “Super agents,” to take new currencies to unbanked rural populations, expressing optimism that the problems he described as “temporary, passing” would go away in no distant future.
The CBN Governor said he had met with 15 top banks earlier in the day in an effort to resolve prevailing problems and will do so again later in the evening, assuring that “we are at the end of the problem.”
He assured that by the end of February, CBN would bring into circulation between N700 billion and N800 billion, well in excess of what is needed to run the economy, stressing that it is not possible to put back more than M3 trillion Naira if the economy is to be healthy.
He also assured that the CBN policy would not constitute any a problem for the conduct of the forthcoming elections, stressing that polls would hold successfully as far as the CBN is concerned.
The leader of the parliamentary delegation, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the House Majority Leader and Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee, said the meeting with the President was necessitated by the need to bring him up to date on the “problems of implementation and unintended consequences” of the new cash policy.
In acknowledging the far-reaching quality of the President’s broadcast to the nation earlier today, the House Leader said the Legislature and the Government were on the same page in so far as the goals of the policy were concerned.
He said, however, that more needed to be done to remove the “hardship and inconveniences” that have attended its implementation.