Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State has made a dramatic change of position, stating that the state is now prepared to receive President Muhammadu Buhari tomorrow (Monday).
The governor stated this on Sunday after leading a delegation of critical stakeholders from the state to meet the President in his country home in Daura, Katsina State.
Ganduje had on Saturday advised President Buhari against going ahead with his scheduled Monday visit to Kano State to avoid any unforeseen circumstance, following concern about the hardship principally induced by the ongoing cash swap from the old to redesigned naira notes in a press statement issued by Abba Anwar, his chief press secretary.
But in spite of the advice, presidency sources said Buhari had insisted on going ahead with the Monday visit to commission some projects implemented by the federal government.
However, during Sunday’s visit to the President, Ganduje said he led the delegation to Daura over the issue of the ongoing currency swap and was happy with him.
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Ganduje said, “Seeing is believing. You can see that I have led a powerful delegation from Kano State on the issue of the new naira notes and we have seen Mr President. We have laid the complaints of the Kano people and we are very happy.
“He explained to us and also assured us that the time is extended and the quantity of new naira (notes) will increase so that the suffering of the people will be reduced. We informed him that Kano is the most populous state in the federation and also the commercial nerve centre of the northern part of Nigeria, second to Lagos.
“But in terms of cash transactions, Kano is much higher than Lagos because Lagos has gone far in terms of the cashless policy, and transactions. But Kano State is comparatively a rural state, so to say, still we have 24 local governments without banks. Most of the banks are concentrated within the Kano metropolitan area.
“So, you can imagine the suffering of the rural areas, rural people in terms of cash transactions. But we are happy that the time has been extended and also the quantum of the naira notes will be increased. So, we are so grateful to the President for his effort.”
It would be recalled that President Buhari had earlier on Sunday approved the extension of the ongoing currency swap by ten days, moving the deadline from January 31, 2023 to February 10, 2023 after a meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele in Daura, Katsina State,
The President had called for 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.
The CBN Governor, while fielding questions from newsmen after the meeting in Daura, had said the excuse of security threats pushed by the Kano State Governor, Ganduje, had no bearing on the swap, which had achieved compliance and recorded huge success across the country.
“I don’t understand the relationship between the CBN policy and security challenges in Kano State,” he added.