As a cultural, non-partisan, and non-political voluntary organization with a focus on the immediate aspirations and greater interests of our communities, ACF, Kano State Chapter has found it expedient to join the strident calls by eminent persons and institutions for an amicable solution to the apparent stalemate.
A statement on Saturday signed by the Publicity Secretary, Arewa Consultative Forum ACF, Malam Bello Sani Galadanci said the call arose from the confusion emanating from almost all the nooks and corners of our Great Fatherland since the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the last quarter of 2022.
According to the statement, “it has become imperative for all patriotic citizens including leaders, professional groups, farmers, traders, civil society and all persons of goodwill to review the development accordingly.
“We believe legitimate reasons exist for the authorities concerned to shift the deadline from January 31 2023 in the greater interest of the majority of our people, particularly communities with no banking facilities and others ravaged by the incessant insecurity.
“While we believe the President might have good intentions for the currency swap, the banks have not helped the process.
“Right from day one, Nigerian banks had shown lethargy in complying with the plans of the apex bank, the CBN as their regulator.
“Their posture suggested they were not part of the scheme. A few days before the deadline, our ATMs continued to dispense old notes while the regulator kept making allegations the banks were not picking up the new notes.
“Overwhelming evidence suggests non-availability of the new notes in key commercial centers of the federation. The ugly scenario has cast doubts about the genuineness and practicability of the January 31 deadline.”
The statement further calls on the Federal Government particularly the two chambers of the National Assembly to prevail on the authorities at the CBN to save us from a catastrophe that may engulf the nation, as the CBN’s hard-line stance is seemingly an act that may plunge our lives into an avoidable disaster.
“In most urban and rural areas, ATMs are no longer dispensing cash; those that do dispense old notes. Presently, the old notes are more in circulation than the new ones, less than 5 days to the decreed deadline. The picture this unhealthy development gives could mean the sensitization campaign on the new currency notes had not been effective,” it added.
Hear what His Eminence, the Sultan remarked when the CBN Comptroller in charge of Sokoto went to brief him on the new currency regime.
“We still have people who didn’t know that our Naira was redesigned. They could reject the new Naira notes when given. The CBN ought to have considered stakeholders ( traditional rulers) right from the day the redesign was announced.
“We have credible means to step down the information to the common man because the conventional media is for the elite.”
ACF Kano re-echoes the revered traditional ruler’s position.
“We salute him, other community leaders, and the NASS for their doggedness. It is very clear, large sections of the populace particularly our local traders and business premises, farmers, and artisans have been expressing fears about losses. Unlike the bitterness, hardship, and suffering that accompanied the 1984 currency swap under military dictatorship; Nigeria is thankfully now under democracy,
Democratic governments are about the people who in the first instance brought leaders to power. The nation must avoid a stalemate,” ACF Kano added.