The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Sunday, alleged that the Central Bank of Nigeria embarked on currency confiscation rather than the announced currency swap policy as approved by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), for currency redesign.
The naira crisis worsened last Thursday when the President in his nationwide broadcast ignored the apex court by extending the validity of old N200 notes while insisting that old N500 and N1,000 remained illegal.
Buhari in his state broadcast said the old N200 note would be legal tender for the next 60 days, till April 10, 2023, while urging Nigerians to deposit their old N500 and 1000 notes with the CBN.
Not satisfied by Buhari’s broadcast, El-Rufai slammed the President over his directive which he said was in disobedience to the February 8 Supreme Court Order restraining the Federal Government from ending its cash swap policy on February 10.
Meanwhile, in defiance of Buhari’s directive that the old N1,000 and N500 have ceased to be legal tender, the El-Rufai-led Kaduna government directed ministries, departments and agencies to accept payments in the old naira and new notes.
The governor asked residents of the state to continue using the old naira notes.
But in a series of tweets on his Twitter handle on Sunday, the Kaduna governor said the bank only confiscated the currency as against what was obtainable in the currency swap policy.
He wrote, “Currency redesign was approved by the President and announced. Currency recoloring resulted.
“Currency swap was envisaged by s.20(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act as approved by PMB. Swap means I take N100,000 to the bank in old notes & I receive N100,000 immediately in new notes. No more, no less.
“During implementation of the cash swap, the CBN withdrew over N2 trillion from circulation but printed only N400 billion, so in effect, currency confiscation was then unilaterally and unlawfully implemented by the CBN. Trade and exchange have collapsed. Human suffering, impoverishment and economic contraction resulted.
“The policy objective was derailed into a deliberate national fiasco to sabotage the elections in the name of preventing vote-buying. All efforts to get CBN to implement what was lawfully approved failed.
“Some State Governments had no choice but to approach the Supreme Court for adjudication. The APC as a party and the Progressive Governors Forum are unanimous that policy implementation must be reviewed, and full compliance of the subsisting ruling of the Supreme Court be observed until final judgment on the suit instituted by the State Governments.”