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As the nation awaits the decision of the Supreme Court tomorrow over the naira redesign policy, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, met with Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The CBN governor, who was meeting the President privately for the third time since the naira crisis escalated across the country, did not speak to journalists as he left the Villa.
Also, the reason for the visit was not made known as at the time of filing this report. It was, however, believed to be in connection with finding solution to the cash squeeze experienced across the country.
The raging controversy over implementation of the new currency redesign policy has not subsided.
Last Friday, the Council of State had backed the currency redesign policy, but advised CBN to ensure availability of naira notes to douse tension and ameliorate the suffering of citizens across the country.
On the weekend, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) directed Attorney-Generals of the 36 states to join the suit instituted by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states against the Federal Government at the Supreme Court.
However, CBN has asked Nigerians to embrace eNaira and internet banking as alternatives to cash transactions. Speaking at the just concluded 44th Kaduna International Trade Fair, Osita Nwanisobi, director of corporate communications, CBN, said the Nigerian payment system infrastructure could handle the surge in transaction volumes across all payment channels.
The CBN director spoke against the backdrop of the struggle faced by citizens to get naira notes from banking halls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Nwasinobi was represented at the event by Mohammed Abbah, director, capacity development department of CBN.
On the naira redesign policy, he said the initiative was not aimed at any individual as being insinuated in the public domain.
“The CBN Governor has always said the policy is not targeted at anyone or any group of persons, rather, it is derived from the bank’s in-house analysis to strengthen our macroeconomic fundamentals and better our socio-economic conditions,” Nwanisobi said.
“Nigerians will observe that there has been a downward trend in inflation, and the exchange rates have been relatively stable. Furthermore, we aim to increase financial inclusion in the country by reducing the number of the unbanked population.
“Thirdly, our aim is to support the efforts of our security agencies in combating banditry and ransom-taking in Nigeria through this programme.”
He said that there have been reports of occasional transaction failures on alternative payment channels.
“However, we wish to assure you that the Nigerian payment system infrastructure is robust enough to handle the surging transaction volumes across all channels,” Nwanisobi said.