KATSINA State Governor Aminu Bello Masari yesterday warned traders in the state against helping bandits to swap old notes with newly designed ones.
Masari, who spoke during an interactive session with traders at the Government House, blamed Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele for the naira swap crisis
He said: “We will assist you, but don’t take advantage of this situation to collect old naira notes from bandits for swapping.”
According to Masari, the naira redesign policy, despite its benefits, was being poorly implemented.
The governor vowed to lead all traders in the state to the state’s branch of the CBN to enable them to swap the old naira notes with the new ones.
According to him, it could adversely affect the elections and destabilise the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Masari said he was shocked and disappointed over the refusal of the CBN governor to obey the recent Supreme Court order on the policy.
The governor said: “He (Emefiele) doesn’t know the hardship facing Nigerians as a result of the naira redesign policy.
“The naira redesign policy is good, but implementation is poor. No transition: the transition period is too short and too sudden in a country where the informal sector is competing with the formal sector.
“I am really disappointed that the Supreme Court of Nigeria should give a ruling which the Governor of the Central Bank refused to follow. What kind of country is this?
“I called the CBN controller here in Katsina; he told me he had not received any instruction from his headquarters. I talk to bank managers; their headquarters have not been contacted by the apex bank.
“And the Attorney-General of the Federation has clearly made a statement that the government will respect the decision of the Supreme Court. Why is the governor of the CBN not respecting the decision of the Supreme Court?”
“Who is he? I think something is wrong somewhere and I hope those who are responsible for taking decisions will take it. On our part, we will do whatever it takes to help our people. We are here for them not them for us.”
The Chairman of Katsina Central Market Traders, Abbas Labaran-Albaba, told the governor that they were at the Government House to seek his intervention in their challenges as a result of the naira redesign policy.
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