CSO accuses FG, CBN of insensitivity to plight of Nigerians over Naira, fuel scarcity

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By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo

Osun Civil Societies Coalition and the Peoples Advocate has condemned the insensitivity of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefele to the plight of Nigerians as a result of the ongoing scarcity of the Naira and fuel.

Addressing journalists at a press conference held at Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Osogbo on Monday, Waheed Lawal, chairman and Emmanuel Olowu, secretary respectively lamented the sufferings Nigerians are going through as a result of the redesigning policy of the Naira and its attendant scarcity. 

The group said the scarcity of fuel and cash is a calamity that needed to be addressed urgently. 

It said that the withdrawal of the old Naira notes and refusal of the CBN to release enough of the redesigned denominations was a deliberate attempt by the apex bank to punish Nigerians unjustly. 

The group stated that the Godwin Emefiele-led CBN has also been playing hide-and-seek game by not releasing enough mew notes to banks through which they can be disbursed to the generality of the people saying that this has been responsible for the ridiculous amount of cash being paid over the counter.

“There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerians are going through hell in getting fuel and cash for personal use and business purposes.

“While we are not questioning the sincerity of the Federal Government on the financial policy, we are constrained to give volume to the murmuring, groaning and cries of Nigerians who have been badly hit by the economic dragon.

“Considering the pains being experienced by the common men in getting cash for their livelihood, it would not be out of place to declare that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is inconsiderate and insensitive to the plight of the citizens.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria led by Mr Godwin Emefiele has clearly been playing hide-and-seek game on the circulation of the new naira notes.

“We acknowledged the fact that there are saboteurs among the top echelon of the banking industries, but the CBN has not also released enough amount of the redesigned denominations to banks through which they can be disbursed to the generality of people. This is responsible for the ridiculous amount of cash being paid to the people over the counter.

“Economically, the scarcity of cash has crippled many businesses and further push millions of Nigerians far below the poverty line. Petty traders do no longer make sales because of cash transaction which their trading depends upon.

“We make bold to say that this financial policy of the Federal Government is doing more harm than good presently. There should have been another way round to maintain a balance between cash control and the wellbeing of the people,” the group said.

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