Naira redesign targeted at corrupt politicians & terrorism financiers, not poor Nigerians – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that efforts are being made to ensure that the new naira notes are distributed more widely.

According to Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesperson, the decision to redesign the naira was made to address corruption, terrorism financing and illicit fund hoarding.

SaharaReporters had reported that a few days to the end of transacting with old N1000, N500 and N200 banknotes as a legal tender, commercial banks continued to load the old notes in their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in parts of the country.

Also, the operators of Point of Sale (POS) particularly in the South-East and North-East states monitored continued to issue old banknotes to their customers, investigations by SaharaReporters showed.

While acknowledging reports of long lines at banks, Buhari stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was working on initiatives to “prevent chaos” surrounding the distribution of the new notes.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday assured that government will ensure that citizens are unharmed in their businesses and no disruption is caused to the entire supply chain arising from the currency swap due to end shortly,” the statement reads.

“Reacting to reports of long queues of people waiting for hours for their turn to deposit old notes and get new ones, triggering public anger and opposition’s criticism, President Buhari reiterated that the currency changes were aimed at people hoarding illicit funds and not the common man, and that it had become necessary to prevent counterfeits, corruption, and terrorist funding.

“This, he assured, will stabilise and strengthen the economy.

“While taking note that the poorest section of society is facing hardship as they often keep hard cash at home for various expenses, President Buhari gave strong assurances that the government will not leave them to their own fate.

“He reiterated that a number of initiatives by the Central Bank and all commercial banks are underway to speed up distribution of the new notes and do all that is necessary to forestall cash squeeze and chaos.”