A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to publish details of the amount of the redesigned naira notes disbursed to commercial banks.
The coalition, comprising of no fewer than 38 CSOs included; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Say no Campaign, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Connected Development Budget; among others made the call at a news conference on the state of the nation in Abuja.
“The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said that the billions of the redesigned notes disbursed to the commercial banks have been mopped up by some corrupt politicians.
“To safeguard our democracy and protect the working and living conditions of our people, we call on the Federal Government to put in place measures to ensure that the suffering of the Nigerian people is eliminated and make citizens have access to cash,” they said.
They also urged the Federal Government to make available the lower denominations of the naira for the operations and convenience of citizens.
The CSOs expressed concern over the cracking down of protest adding that the culture of protest should be respected in a democracy, as it is the voice of the people
The representatives of the CSOs at the conference are; Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director CISLAC, Dr Tobi Okuwatoba, Head of CJID, Dr Ibrahim Zikirullahi, CEO CHRICED and Mr Jaye Kaskiya among others .
”The federal government has alleged that some people were keeping billions of old Naira notes in well-known places.
”The government should direct security and anti-graft agencies to remove the money allegedly kept in the homes and offices of the few people.
“After all, operatives of the State Security Services invaded the residences of alleged corrupt Judges in October 2016 and carted away thousands of dollars and millions of naira.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Emefiele on February 15, accused some politicians of hoarding the redesigned notes.
The governor said the mop-up of notes by politicians has contributed to the lengthy queues at banking halls and automated teller machines (ATMs) as citizens struggle to lay their hands on the new naira.
Emefiele made the remarks while briefing the diplomatic community on recent monetary policy decisions of the CBN on Tuesday in Abuja.
“The CBN has also noticed that some politicians are buying the new notes and storing them for political purposes,” he said. (NAN)