President Muhammmadu Buhari Tuesday held a closed door meeting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), AbdulRasheed Bawa, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State as well as the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Governor Atiku Bagudu Abubakar of Kebbi State at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting held amid scarcity of naira notes which had elicited protests in various parts of the country.
Last Friday, the President had implored citizens to give him a seven-day window which lapsed on February 10 to resolve the currency crunch that had emanated from the implementation of the Central Bank policy to change high value Naira notes with newly designed ones after a meeting with the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors.
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Buhari had equally assured that he would be meeting with both the CBN and the Security and Minting Company and a decision would be taken based on current realities in the best interest of the people.
The governors of the ruling party had asked that the President directed an adequate injection of the new notes and the continued utilisation of the old ones until the end of the year to cushion the negative effects which the policy decision to redesign the currency had on their constituencies.
Meanwhile, the governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states have sued the federal government and the CBN before the Supreme Court over the currency redesigning and “de-monetisation” policy.
They are asking the court to make a declaration that the three-month notice given by the federal government and the CBN under the directive of the president, the expiration of which will render the old bank notes inadmissible as legal tender, is in gross violation of the provisions of Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007, which specifies that reasonable notice must be given before such a policy and that the limit cannot be outside that provided under Section 22(1) of the CBN Act 2007.
However, an FCT High Court had on Monday restrained the CBN, President Buhari and 27 commercial banks from extending or sabotaging the currency redesigning and cash withdrawal limit policy in the country.
The political parties that went to court included Action Alliance (AA), Action Peoples Party (APP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and National Rescue Movement (NRM).
But Barrister Sam Kargbo (SAN) faulted the decision of the high court to listen to a matter already before the Supreme Court.
Daily Trust reports that after the initial January 31 deadline, the CBN, after reportedly seeking the approval of President Buhari had extended the deadline for the currency swap to February 10.
But it appears the extension has not changed anything for the better as millions of Nigerians could not access the new N1000, N500 and N200 notes while even the lower denominations of N100 and N50 that have not been altered are not available.