Council of State throws weight behind Naira redesign

The National Council of State, on Friday, in Abuja backed the central bank’s new naira policy.

This was as it advised the President Muhammadu Buhari and Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, to either intensify the printing of new notes or recirculate the old ones to ease the hardship of Nigerians occasioned by the policy.

The country’s highest advisory organ also insisted that the general elections will be held as scheduled based on the​​ readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Nigeria Police.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the four-hour hybrid meeting at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

Malami said the council received briefing from the chairman of INEC, the IGP and the CBN governor.

“The two major resolutions that were driven, arriving from the deliberations of the Council, are one, that we are on course as far as election is concerned and we are happy with the level of preparation by INEC and the institutions.

“Two, relating to the naira re-designed policy, the policy stands, but then the Council agreed that there is need for aggressive action on the part of the Central Bank, as it relates to the implementation of the policy by way of ensuring adequate provision being made with regard to the supply of the naira in the system,” the AGF said.

When asked by our correspondent about the President’s response to the council’s suggestions, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said it will be up to Buhari to decide “soon.”

Present were former Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo joined the meeting virtually as only about 14 governors were present both physically and virtually with some represented by their deputies.

Also present were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, two former Chief Justices of Nigeria, amongst others.

The Council of State is an organ of the Federal Government of Nigeria which advises the executive on key policies.

It comprises the President as chairman, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (deputy chairman), all living former Presidents and Heads of State, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, all the 36 state governors and Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.