Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has weighed in on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) currency redesign policy, calling for the bank to expedite efforts to make the new currency available to small depositors and the unbanked.
In October 2022, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the plan to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and asked Nigerians to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023.
Although the deadline has been shifted to February 10, many Nigerians have found it difficult to obtain the new notes.
In a statement on Sunday, Obi stated, “The currency redesign is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is an exercise that comes with some inconveniences and pains but it has significant long-term economic and social benefits.”
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The former Anambra governor called on the CBN to prioritize the needs of small depositors and the unbanked, especially those living in rural areas far away from banks.
“Even though there are improvements that can be made, I urge Nigerians to bear with the CBN and federal government with the hope that the general populace and Nigeria will harvest the gains that will come with the reforms,” he added.
The currency redesign policy has generated mixed reactions among Nigerians, with some applauding the move for its potential economic benefits, while others criticize the inconvenience it has caused.
Despite the challenges, Obi remains optimistic that the policy will yield positive results in the long run.