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Kwankwaso: Poor Nigerians being punished, no bank will deny presidential candidates money

Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of punishing ordinary Nigerians with…

Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of punishing ordinary Nigerians with the naira redesign policy.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme on Thursday,  Kwankwaso said the rich could not be affected by the policy because they own the banks.

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Kwankwaso said the big time politicians, particularly, the presidential candidates, either had controlling shares in the banks or have friends who can help them mobilise whatever amount of money they needed.

“Government should be in place to sort out issues for its people, not inflate unnecessary hardships.”

“We in the NNPP are not comfortable with the three months and even the 10 days they are talking about. Many people who are in Abuja who are in the comfort of their offices or homes wouldn’t understand what is happening outside there.

“What the government is saying has to do with people who would want to take too much money, like leaders and politicians. They don’t know that many of our colleagues, those who are contesting, especially the presidential candidates, and by extension all those in their parties are owners of the banks.

“And not only that, people close to them have banks everywhere. So, they will lose nothing. PDP has governors, and APC has governors. Governors by now would have collected so much money from the banks in their states.

“If their friends have got banks, I’m sure one or two of them may have banks or own large shares in some of these banks.

“Some people in politics may for some strategic reasons be complaining but those complaining I believe is just a gimmick, I don’t believe that they mean it. We believe they don’t have issues.  You see the people with real issues are the masses, businessmen, petty traders,” he said.

The apex bank announced the naira redesign policy in October 2022, and new N200, N500 and N1,000, became legal tender on 15 December, 2022.

Although President Muhammadu Buhari had unveiled the new naira on November 23, 2022, it went into circulation in December.

However, it has been difficult to access the new naira notes, forcing the CBN to adjust the January 31 deadline for the old notes to serve as legal tender.

Commenting on the stress Nigerians encountered while trying to access the new naira notes, Buhari said the policy was targeted at corrupt persons and those financing terrorism.

The president said ordinary Nigerians would not be allowed to suffer as a result of the policy.

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