President Muhammed Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the use of old N200 notes till April 10, 2023.The directive, which Nigerians are skeptical of alleviating their suffering, was given during a national broadcast on Thursday, February 16, 2023, as monitored by metrobusinessnews.com (MBN).
However, in the broadcast, which has been criticised as lacking the necessary actionsteps for alleviatiing the sufferings of the citizens, Buhari attributed the naira scarcity which has brought untold hardship to Nigerians, with the attendant national embarrassment, to the fault of ‘unscrupulous officials’ in the banking industry, entrusted with the process of implementing the new monetary policy.
But Buhari’s outburst, according to some a analysts may have exposed supervisory laxity in the industry.
Already some industry operators, particularly, those whose banks were sanctioned for hoarding recently have commenced the process of remedying the situation, that brought negative backlash and perception on their institutions.
Metrobusinessnews.com, (MBN) learnt that impunity, which has become the bane of the polity in recent years, has become entrenched in the industry as operators are more comfortable with paying fines than obeying the rules of the game.
The implication is that real financial intermediation is being sacrificed on the alter of international best practices.
President Buhari said he is deeply pained by the unintended outcomes of activities caused by banking staff.
“I am not unaware of the obstacles placed on the path of Nigerians by unscrupulous officials in the banking industry, entrusted with the process of implementation of the new monetary policy. I am deeply pained & sincerely sympathize with you all, over these unintended outcomes.
“To stem this tide, I have directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources & legal means to ensure that our citizens are adequately educated on the policy; enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through the availability of the appropriate amount of currency; & ability to make deposits.
“I have similarly directed that the CBN should intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies, to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation should be made to bear the full weight of the law.”
The president further explained that his administration would continue to assess the implementation to ensure that Nigerians were not unnecessarily burdened.
In this regard, the CBN would ensure that the new notes became more available and accessible to citizens through the banks.
Based on the broadcast, Nigerians are waiting with bated breadth, the expected reprieve and so long as Banks will play the game by the rules.