President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Cash Crunch: ACF tackles Buhari, insists new Naira policy implementation worsening inflation

*Huge crowds and long queues in and around banks’ halls and premises as well as ATM points remain as consumers struggle to get the new Naira notes, which have remained extremely scarce in circulation

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the current socio-economic hardships confronting Nigerians over the activation of the Naira redesign project, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari the much publicised benefits of the new currency policy can justify the damage to his credentials as a democrat and stickler of the rule of law.

The Secretary-General of ACF, a Northern Nigeria interest group, in a statement issued Sunday, March 12, 2023, declared the implementation of the redesign policy had led to runaway inflation in food and other commodities in the West African country.

Bundles of new banknotes

The Supreme Court of Nigeria recently held President Buhari breached the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) in the way he issued a directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the redesign of the Naira.

The Forum noted the President did not consult with the National Council of States and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) respectively.

The apex appellate court in Nigeria also ruled that Buhari’s unconstitutional use of powers on the Naira redesign project had breached the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens in various ways.

About 12 State Governors, including those of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, have persistently contended the policy implementation had triggered severe cash shortage and chaos in the country’s economy.

According to them, it has led to runaway inflation in food and other commodities in the economy.

Several consumers believe  though the Naira redesign policy permits the CBN to ban the circulation of old N500 and N1,000 Naira notes, the banking sector regulator has not provided their replacements in sufficient amounts in circulation.

Instead, huge crowds and long queues in and around banks’ halls and premises and ATM points have become a common feature, as consumers struggle to get the new Naira notes, which have remained extremely scarce.

The situation has triggered riots and other forms of civil unrest in several places, including Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Edo, Rivers and Lagos states in the wake of the cash swap cum Naira scarcity.

Amid the confusing in the economy, the concerned State Governors reportedly said: “The current approach of the CBN raises concerns about the respect for the civil liberties and rights of Nigerians as it relates to their freedom to use legitimately earned income as they so wish.”

According to State Chief Executives, the CBN is in truth pursuing a policy of “Naira-Confistication”,  which would possibly set off a cripplying depression.

Monday, March 13, 2023, marks the 10th day when the Supreme Court ruled that CBN’s Naira redesign policy is unlawful, and thst the regulator should hakt its implementation to allow the circulation of both the old and new Naira notes till December 31 this year.

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