Old naira notes: Kudos, knocks over Buhari, CBN's directives

Old naira notes: Kudos, knocks over Buhari, CBN’s directives

Reactions have continued to trail directives by President Mohammadu Buhari and Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, to commercial banks to dispense and accept the deposit of old Naira notes amid the raging currency crisis.

While some commended the President for finally breaking the prolonged brawl, others described it as belated, saying the delay on the part of government was a mark of irresponsibility.

A veteran journalist, Tony Okafor described the directive as victory for the rule of law, expressing optimism that Nigerians would no longer be subjected to excruciating pains ocasioned by new naira notes swap.

He also advised that Nigerian late-hour fire brigade approach to issues should be avoided in the present circumstance. 

He said, “The directive is victory for the rule of law. No sane society, more so a democratic type, can survive without the rule of law and independence of the judicial. 

“We commend the president and his CBN implementing agency for giving hope to democracy despite their delay in making that pronouncement. 

“It’s now left to the Central Bank to make adequate arrangements for the gradual and systemic withdrawal of the old notes from circulation on or before 31st December deadline by ensuring the printing and adequate supply of the new notes. 

“Nigerians cannot be subjected again to the excruciating pains they passed through during the new naira notes swap that lasted for months. 

“It was a whole lot hell that nobody would want to pass through again. Besides, citizens should be fast to comply with the necessary guidelines that may be put in place by the CBN for the discontinuance of the old notes.”

Deputy Director, UNIZIK Business School, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Chinedu Onyeizugbe described protracted silence of government and the apex bank on the matter as bad omen for the country.

He regretted that the development has very negative consequences for the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.

“Most small and medium scale businesses are likely to go into extinction and the implication will be high unemployment rate and increase in crime rate.

Chairman, Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET) Prince Chris Azor said President Mohammadu Buhari should consciously convince Nigerians of his commitment to upholding rule of law as he often claims. 

He said he needs to walk the talk and show good example.

He said, “President, Buhari needs to take action against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for continuous failure to obey court orders including the recent Supreme Court order on the extension of the use of old Naira till December.

“One is not impressed with the statement issued by the spokesperson stating that President Buhari neither directed the Attorney-General of the Federation nor the governor of the Central Bank to disobey the order of the Supreme Court. 

“The President should have cleared the air by personally addressing Nigerians on the issue. It smacks of neglect and contempt for the President to speak by proxy. The appointees of Mr President can never take the mandate given to him by Nigerians.

“The Supreme Court order had taken about  ten days before the President’s surrogate response. This is absolutely unacceptable.

“The very least expected of Mr President is to formally address the citizens, in a nationwide broadcast and at the same time use the instrumentality of his office to sensitize the citizens.

“He should also direct the regulatory agencies to ensure compliance by all stakeholders. Anything short of that is not good enough.”

Immediate past Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNIZIK, Prof. Dennis Aribodo wondered why Government meant to make life easy for people was now the one inflicting suffering on the people.

He insisted that the citizenry must say no to such inhumane treatment as they take the political leadership to task.

He said, “My only concern is the pain and hardship Nigerians go through to access their money. The pain is too much! Is it the man-hour lost, is it the challenges of harsh environment, is it the insults, is it the crowd, is it the psychological trauma?

“Government is meant to make things easy for the people but this is not the case with the outgoing government. It questions the quality of those in leadership positions in public service. 

“Nigerians should not be passing through the difficulties we are passing through. The fuel situation is chaotic and inhuman and no one is taking responsibility. 

“Nigerians should not keep quiet. They should continue taking the political leadership to task.”

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