The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Baba-jide Sanwo-Olu today Fri, Feb 3 joined other governors of the ruling APC in an impromptu session with president Muhammadu Buhari over the ongoing cash crunch across the nation.
Subsequently, president Muhammadu Buhari, held a closed door meeting with the governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aegis of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) to address the state of the nation.
the Progressive Governors Forum who came to the Presidential Villa to seek solutions to the cash crunch which they said was threatening the good records of the administration in transforming the economy.
The meeting, which held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was attended by the PGF Chairman, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna; Umar Ganduje, Kano; Dave Umahi, Ebonyi; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos; Dapo Abiodun, Ogun and Simon Lalong, Plateau, who doubles as the Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.
The meeting held amid several protest letters and allegations by several groups and personalities across the nation over the shortage of naira in town.
The leadership of a lead Human Rights movement in Nigeria, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA Global Resource Initiative) had earlier notified the president of the suffering of the people which subsequently led to the extension of deadline for new naira note.
President Muhammadu Buhari in his address to the governors urged citizens to give him seven days to resolve the cash crunch that has become a problem across the country from the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to change high value Naira notes with new ones.
President Buhari maintained that the currency re-design will give a boost to the economy and provide long-term benefits while expressing doubts about the commitment of banks in particular to the success of the policy. “Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves”, said the President, “even if a year is added, problems associated with selfishness and greed won’t go away.”
He said he had seen several reports from various media about cash shortages and hardship to local businesses and ordinary people and gave assurances that the balance of seven of the 10-day extension will be used to crackdown on whatever stood in the way of successful implementation.
“I will revert to the CBN and the Minting Company. There will be a decision one way or the other in the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension,” the President assured.
The Governors told the President that, while they agreed that his decision on the renewal of currency was good and they are fully in support, its execution had been botched and their constituents were becoming increasingly upset.
They told the President that, as leaders of the government and party in their different states, they were becoming anxious about a slump in the economy and the series of elections that are coming. They requested the President to use his powers to direct the concurrent flourish of the new and old notes till the end of the year.
The President said when he considered giving the approval to the policy, he demanded an undertaking from the CBN that no new notes will be printed in a foreign country and they in turn gave him assurances that there was enough capacity, manpower and equipment to print the currency for local needs. He said he needed to go back to find out what was actually happening.
President Buhari told the Governors that, being closer to the people, he had heard their cries and will act in a way that there will be a solution.