John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has faulted the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for calling the Central Bank of Nigeria not to review the deadline for the swapping of old naira notes with new notes.
The former vice president, had in a statement on Thursday, asked the CBN not to grant further extension after the February 10, deadline in order not to destroy the objective of the policy.
He, however, urged the apex bank to immediately review the measures put in place for ensuring the seamless circulation of the new notes to alleviate the “hardship confronting ordinary people across the country, especially rural dwellers, who need cash for their daily transactions.”
In a statement yesterday by its National President, Yerima Shettima, AYCF said Abubakar’s call was out of place considering the growing complaint and the hardship Nigerians were going through as a result of the policy.
“Our attention has been drawn to a viral news in which PDP presidential flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar turned against the calls for CBN to extend the deadline for its cash swap policy”, the statement reads.
“While we feel duty bound to call the former VP to order on his politically-motivated stance, we wish to state as follows:
“We are of course aware that the economy has suffered heavy, avoidable bruises. As at end-June 2022, available data indicated that N2.72 trillion out of the N3.26 trillion currency in circulation, was outside the vaults of commercial banks across and hidden in crude forms.”
The group said the cashless policy is inherently good, but there are calls for review of the CBN deadline that must not be ignored.
The group maintained that Atiku’s call was out of place because it is coming on the heels of growing complaints about the kind of sabotage that is causing untold hardship to Nigerians.
“Atiku stands alone in his call on the CBN not to review the deadline. He is against prominent Nigerians who made passionate appeals for deadline review, notably the Sultan of Sokoto, the Senate and House of Representatives leaders and experts.
“What purpose will the current difficulties people are facing serve Atiku? It will be suicidal for this nation to consider Atiku’s advice against a review of the CBN cash-swap deadline.
“For any policy to succeed, it must have a human face and we believe the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele will turn against overwhelming public interest, like Atiku has just done…”