‘Rethink’ Naira Swap Policy, Others ‘Causing Pain’, Fashola Tells Emefiele
…As High Court Bars CBN From Extending February 10 Deadline
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review its naira swap policy to reverse its negative impact on Nigerians.
Fashola, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict on Monday, was reacting to the outcry over the widespread scarcity of the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes since they were unveiled on November 23, 2022.
According to the CBN, the old versions of those denominations will no longer be legal tenders after February 10, 2023 as the apex bank targets hoarders of illicit funds in the buildup to the general elections.
The minister bemoaned the hardship brought on by the directive of the apex bank, saying it was imperative that public officeholders reviewed their policies when they had the opposite effect than desired.
“I empathise with those challenges but some of them are the result of policy and it is the responsibility of public servants, especially those responsible for those policies to look back and say, ‘Did we intend to cause this pain?’
“And if the policy is not working, perhaps you have to readjust and to also ask yourself whether you thought this through. As a public officer, before and now, I have had cause to reverse myself, when I saw that my policies were causing unintended results.
“So, I have no responsibility on those two areas and therefore I cannot speak to the details of the facts that are available to the policymakers but the important thing is that those policies are not yet delivering the results and are delivering a lot of inconvenience for [people],” he said.
Meanwhile, Justice Eneojo Eneche of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, has stopped the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), President Muhammadu Buhari and 27 commercial banks from suspending or interfering with the currency redesign terminal date of February 10, or issue any directive contrary to the said date.
In a motion by five political parties, the court also granted an order directing the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the banks, to show cause why they should not be arrested and prosecuted for the financial sabotage of the country, by illegally hoarding and not disbursing the new N200, N500, and N1000 bank notes, despite supply of such notes by the central bank.
Buhari, last year, approved the redesign of the banknotes. The move has, however, created hardship among Nigerians who have struggled to lay hands on the new notes as the February 10th deadline for the currency swap inches closer.
In the wake of the naira swap crisis, the CBN maintained it would not extend the deadline.
The recent CBN policy has been met with polarising views as some have expressed support for the apex bank’s decision, while many others have kicked against it as insensitive to the average Nigerian.
On the one hand, some critics of the directive have accused the central bank of deceiving Buhari.
For instance, a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, faulted the policy, describing it as senseless and a plot by the apex bank to scuttle the general elections.
According to him, the CBN sold an anti-corruption motive to the President which made him approve the policy.
On the other hand, in spite of the policy presented as targeted at corrupt politicians and hoarders of illicit funds, some others like the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; and Labour Party, Peter Obi, have shown support for the CBN.
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Tinubu: ‘Big Lie, I Can’t Endorse Feb 25 Illegitimate Outcome Of Flawed Process, Atiku Clears Air
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has denied endorsing Bola Tinubu’s victory.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential flagbearer defeated Atiku and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
In a statement on Saturday, Atiku said his attention was drawn to a fake press release attributed to him, “purportedly giving legitimacy to the widely rigged presidential election”.
Atiku stressed that it did not emanate from him and should be treated with repudiation because it was contrived “by those who illegally appropriated the mandate of the people”.
The former Vice President said his lawyers still have been mandated to challenge the outcome of the February 25 poll.
Atiku reiterated his outright rejection of the “pre-determined outcome of the February 25 election” and vowed to continue to challenge the legality.
Calling it the “worst election in our democratic history”, the Wazirin Adamawa said his fight was not for personal interest but for the interest of Nigeria and its citizens.
“It is aimed at deepening democracy and ensuring that we do not confer legitimacy to an outcome of illegitimacy,” the statement added
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INEC To Issue Certificates Of Return To Governors-Elect, Others From March 29
INEC has fixed Wednesday, March 29 to Friday March 31 as days for the issuance of Certificates of Return to governors, deputy governors-elect and states Houses of Assembly members-elect.
Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye made the declaration in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday.
“By the provisions of Section 72(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission is mandated to issue a certificate of return within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned elected under the law.
“Pursuant to the provision, the Commission has fixed Wednesday March 29, Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31 for the issuance of Certificates of Return to those elected on March 18.
“The presentation will take place in INEC offices in each state of the federation,’’ Okoye stated.
He added that specific dates for the issuance of the certificates would be communicated to those elected by the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries of the various states. (NAN).
1,003 total views, 1,003 views today
#ENDSARS: Sanwo-Olu Orders Payment Of N5m To Assaulted Uber Driver
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered the payment of N5 million compensation to an Uber driver, Adedotun Clement, who was assaulted by security operatives during an #ENDSARS anniversary rally in the state in October 2021.
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had on March 14 ordered the state government and Nigeria Police Force to pay the sum while ruling on an application filed by the driver.
Clement was assaulted by police operatives and members of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Agency during a rally to mark the first anniversary of the #ENDSARS protest near the Lekki Toll Gate in the state.
The governor, who confirmed the development on his Twitter handle on Saturday, said he had directed the state’s Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) to set up a meeting with the driver and pay him the compensation awarded by the court.
He reaffirmed his commitment to the rule of law in the state.
Sanwo-Olu wrote: “Good evening Lagos, as governor, I’m committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens’ rights with empathy and authority.
“I recently became aware of the case involving Mr. Clement Adedotun and the judgement by the Federal High Court, and I understand the impact this legal battle has had on him.
“After reviewing Mr. Clement’s case, I’ve directed the Honorable Attorney General to set up a meeting and pay him the compensation awarded by the court.”
The governor, who confirmed that the state government has appealed the ruling, said he ordered the payment of the compensation for the good of the society.
“Although the State Government has appealed the ruling, I’ve interceded in this instance in the interest of the public good and requested that the State’s Attorney General comply with the court’s ruling.
“As a strong advocate for the rule of law, I commend all parties for seeking justice through the appropriate channels, and I remain committed to upholding the rights of all Lagosians,” he added.
3,773 total views, 1,635 views today
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