The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, has come under pressure to find a solution to the crises that have put Nigerians through unimaginable hardship as the shortage of fuel and money paralyzed socio-economic activities throughout the nation.
On social media, Nigerians, including senators, governors, and young people, are pleading with the president to end the new naira note crisis, which erupted last week and led to violent riots in the states of Edo and Oyo.
The governors of the All Progressives Congress met with the President on Friday in an effort to convince him to resolve the crisis involving the new naira notes.
In an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, Kunle Somorin, the chief press secretary to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, stated that his boss and other APC governors were in serious discussions with the Presidency and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, about the recent shortage of naira notes.
He claims that Abiodun fully concurs with other governors regarding the new notes.
He (Abiodun) claimed he had brought it up with his coworkers at the highest level, Somorin remarked. They are collaborating with the CBN governor and the White House to find a long-term solution, and relief will reach our people in the coming days, if not hours. He was in Abuja with other APC governors. He agrees with them on this matter.
He continued, “That’s why the governor suspended his campaign because it doesn’t make sense for him to be dancing while people are complaining about fuel shortages and limited access to exchange old notes.”
Additionally, Nigerians on social media urged Buhari to find a solution before the seven-day period he requested to resolve the new naira crisis ran out because there were only a few days left in the time frame.
On Friday, Buhari made a seven-day appeal to Nigerians to end the crisis caused by the naira swap policy.
According to a survey by The PUNCH, 68.3 percent of Twitter users wanted the crisis resolved immediately rather than waiting the full seven days, while 31.7% supported waiting the full seven days.
Even if Buhari were given ten years, according to a Twitter user named @tulugolota, “he will still fail to do anything just as he has been failing since,”
@validator444 wrote on Instagram, “Seven days for what? After the suffering and pain he has brought upon Nigerians?
In contrast, seven days “absolutely make no sense with all that is happening in Nigeria right now,” according to @officialmeri madeinheaven.
According to @adeyemi78ngus, waiting seven days is “a sign of ineptitude and uncaring leadership.”
Omoyele Sowore, the African Action Congress’ presidential candidate, urged Nigerians to resist the crisis in a tweet and called it criminal.
“@mbuhari and @Emefiele engineered the criminal currency crisis to attack Nigerians’ very existence. All must fight against it! “We can’t carry on like this. Revolution now,” he wrote.
In order to provide his constituents with access to financial services, Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni ordered the opening of branches of the state-owned microfinance bank in each of the state’s 17 local government areas.
“As a government, it is our duty to look into all possible solutions to help our citizens access financial services,” he wrote in a Facebook post. I’ve ordered the state-run Yobe Microfinance Bank to open offices in each of the state’s 17 local governments in order to accomplish this.
On Twitter, 81% of respondents said Buhari should step in to solve the fuel crisis, while only 19% said no.
Isn’t it the petroleum minister’s responsibility to ensure that Nigerians don’t experience fuel shortages? tweeted one Twitter user, @Bq rhymez. Now that everyone is aware of their responsibilities, a survey must be conducted. what a loss.
“Buhari, Focus on using the last few months of your administration to resolve the lingering fuel issue, naira scarcity, hardships, and insecurity,” tweeted Oke Umurhowo, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Utitofon Jeremiah, a Nigerian, posted the following message on Twitter: “Muhammadu Buhari, pls stop these fuel lines and high prices, with the lack of money due to Emefiele’s poor management of the Naira redesign. Sir, the populace is starving.
No cash means no fuel. Imagine the difficulty.
A very bad situation
Yobe issues are serious.
The governor of Yobe State’s spokesman, Mamman Mohammed, told Insiderblm that the state did not have a problem with people continuing to use old naira notes after February 10.
The governor said, “Whether the governor stands by the position of his colleagues; whether the February 10 deadline is realistic or not; and the persistence of the problems associated with new banknotes do not constitute our problems here.
“Our problem is wider and more serious than all these as a state torn by insurgency. We are in an odd situation, and as a result, we have an odd issue.
“Across the state, there is a severe lack of banks that can provide proper banking services and guarantee a positive relationship between the bank and its customers.
Before you start discussing the continued use of old notes or any issues with the new notes, you need to have enough banks where services can be offered.
According to Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe, the special adviser to the governor of Gombe State, the problems caused by the new notes still exist in the state.
He declared, “The middle class is swarming the few ATMs dispensing the few new naira notes. The lower classes are innocently suffering.
Additionally, some National Assembly members urged the President to take action, telling Insiderblm that the fuel and new naira note crises were lowering attendance at political rallies.
Nicholas Tofowomo, a senator for Ondo South Senatorial District, urged President Buhari to dismiss the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and bring criminal charges against him for disobeying the resolution of the senate ordering the extension of the deadline for the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes to May.
Tofowomo claimed that Emefiele’s alleged disobedience to the senate resolution had resulted in hardship and led to protests over the shortage of the new naira notes in some parts of the country in a statement released on Sunday by his media assistant, Mr. Olumide Akinrinlola.
“By now, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria should be in jail for disobeying the senate, dishonoring its resolution, and causing naira scarcity,” he declared.
‘’ Even with the rising price of gasoline and the country’s rising inflation, Emefiele’s lawlessness and obstinacy make it very difficult for us to access cash.
“On Friday, I went to the bank to apply for a small amount of cash as a senator in office, but I received nothing. Due to a shortage of fresh naira notes in the bank, my check was returned to me.
Even though many customers were still inside the banking hall, stranded and shouting, they claimed they had paid out all of their cash for the day.
“There are a lot of residents without banks in my senatorial district. Commercial banks are unavailable to more than 300 communities. The few who have bank accounts will have to go a long way to find one.
Thousands of locals are currently suffering because they are unable to buy food for their families and conduct business. They submitted their old notes in accordance with the CBN’s instructions, but the CBN has since failed to fulfill its obligation to provide them with new notes.
The CBN policy was starting to have an impact on the attendance at political rallies, according to Ajibola Basiru, the chairman of the Senate committee on Media and Public Affairs and the Senate spokesperson.
“We send money electronically to our suppliers, but our constituents tell us that the general public is not pleased with the way the policy is being carried out.
He stated, “The masses are confined; some cannot even attend our rallies because they are either in bank or ATM lines.
He argued that the President needed to step in and allow the CBN to act morally.
This is not the first time a currency has been changed in history, he declared. It was carried out without putting people through hardship. However, the CBN’s approach to the redesign is unnecessarily burdening the populace.
The senator said that based on his observations, he was unsure whether the CBN had distributed enough money to meet even the lowest threshold that it had established.
“According to the new policy, a person is entitled to a cash withdrawal of N500,000 per week,” he said. I doubt that even the banks receive up to N1 million to serve the entire neighborhood.
“The CBN failed in this, and the President needs to address the situation right away. He is not required to wait the seven days he mentioned. If he waits any longer, there could be further repercussions across the nation.
Francis Fadahunsi, the senator for Osun East, also expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation, saying that it had been difficult and had somewhat slowed things down.
“It’s a little difficult to get money for our logistics, but we are surviving,” he said. It’s a challenge we must overcome. We have been coming up with ways to pay for our purchases electronically.
He also mentioned how few people attended the campaign rallies because they had to stand in line to donate money.
The people haven’t given much at rallies because they have to go look for money, the speaker claimed. To live, people need money. Although difficult now, it will become simpler over time.
People should just put up with things for a while; it’s for the best. It’s going to get better.
The policy affects everyone, not just the politicians, according to Abdulrazak Namdas (APC/Adamawa), a member of the House of Representatives. Everybody is affected, not just one party.
“Whoever is thinking that they are going to benefit from this would realize that this policy is likely to affect all of us in the end,” said the author. There isn’t a market that allows APC members to stand in line and pay with cards. All of us need money.
Babatunde Hunpe (APC/Lagos), a different member of the House, also bemoaned the cash shortage, saying it made it difficult for him to mobilize farmers and fishermen, who make up the majority of his constituents.
In the meantime, the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria has demanded that banks be investigated for allegedly hoarding the new naira notes in order to cause harm to Nigerians.
The CAN Chairman, Rev. John Hayab, urged the CBN to “do everything possible within its power to ensure that the new notes circulate to end the stress being faced by the Nigerian masses in accessing the new notes” in a statement released in Kaduna on Sunday.
Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has stated that if the CBN does not address the difficulties Nigerians face as a result of its currency swap policy, the federal parliament will be forced to reconvene before the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25.
After the Green Chamber met with Emefiele to discuss the matter, Gbajabiamila stated that the House would continue to closely monitor the CBN’s implementation of the policy.
Gbajabiamila is credited with saying this in a town hall meeting with some ethnic groups in Surulere, Lagos, according to a statement released on Sunday by the Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi.
“Policies affect citizens”
Idayat Hassan, the executive director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, claimed that the policy was harsh on the populace and emphasized that it was the responsibility of the government to serve them rather than to make their lives difficult.
Olaseni Shalom, the executive director of the United Global Resolve for Peace, commented, “It is unfortunate that our nation has spineless political leadership. Making a U-turn in the implementation of a policy is not at all weak when you can feel the heartbeat and pulse of your citizens with regard to that policy.
The Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai was correct, according to a group operating under the banner of North-West Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Support Group, that certain elements in the Presidency were responsible for the country’s current crisis and were working to undermine Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s chances of winning the APC presidential nomination on February 25.
Bappa Babba-Danagundi, the group’s director, told reporters in Kano on Sunday that the change in the currency had made things difficult for people. What kind of nation is this?
Regardless of the rationale behind the policy, Danagundi urged the authorities to ease the suffering of people, particularly salary earners and small business owners, by making the new naira notes available.
This comes after an unidentified group shared flyers for upcoming “Buhari Must Go” protests on the well-known microblogging site, Twitter, on Sunday.
On Monday, it requested protests be held in all 36 federally recognized states and the Federal Capital Territory (today).
“Protests on February 6, 2023, in all major cities. It read, “No fuel, No naira APC administration.
Nevertheless, despite the difficulties brought on by the naira redesign, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has urged Nigerians to put up with the suffering and inconvenience.
If maintained, he claimed, the policy would have significant long-term economic and social benefits.
Obi stated on his verified social media accounts: “The redesign of the currency is not unique to Nigeria. Although it is an exercise with some discomfort and pain, it has substantial long-term economic and social benefits.
The National Association of Nigerian Students’ South-West zone has declared that it will continue to protest until the government takes action to address the shortage of fuel and naira notes.
The Coordinator of NANS, South-West, Olatunji Adegboye, said in a conversation with our correspondent, “We will soon make our plans known, but we are planning protests across our zones. It won’t be a one-day demonstration. We’re going to keep doing it until the fuel shortage is resolved and naira becomes available.
“President Buhari, seven days is too long to make a decision on a crisis that is already endangering our economy and national security. The longer you wait, the more chance there is for saboteurs to intensify the crisis. Consider your options carefully before deciding.
Point of Sale operators have created new methods to obtain naira notes as both the new and the old notes have remained hard to come by throughout the nation.
Insiderblm discovered that the agents were receiving cash from gas stations, grocery stores, and hotels.
Andrew, who works in the FCT’s Lugbe neighborhood, claimed he paid a commission of N2,000 to obtain N20,000 from a gas station in the CBD.
Chika, a different operator, said, “As of right now, I don’t give customers more than N1,500. The most possible sum is that. It was difficult for me to obtain this money. It was purchased from a gas station. We are being extorted by the fuel attendants.
This has an impact on my charges as well. For every N1,500 that is withdrawn, I now charge N150. Customers must comprehend because it is not at all simple.
Oluwaseyi Efuwape, a POS operator on Sunday in lagos, revealed to our correspondent that in order to stay in business, he had turned to purchasing cash from eateries, vendors, hotels, and gas stations.
He claimed that the cash available at the commercial banks was insufficient for him to conduct his daily business.
“I buy cash from food and meat vendors as well as from fuel attendants,” he declared. I occasionally go to hotels to get some money. Whoever has enough cash I buy it from.
He told Insiderblm that there was no set price for the notes on the black market and that the price could be as high as N20,000 for every N100,000. He also noted that the rate depended on the seller of the currency.
For instance, on N50,000, I could pay N5000, he said. And on occasion, other people might add N20,000 to N100,000.
If you’re lucky, some of these places might only charge you a very small amount, while others might charge exorbitant fees for each transaction.
A POS operator in Berger, Bisi Adeyi, described a similar incident. According to her, the woman traveled all the way to the island to buy the woman’s naira.
She claimed to have supplied additional business owners who required cash for regular transactions.
Adeyi also revealed that she visits markets to ask market women and gas stations if anyone has enough cash.
I have purchased items worth up to N100,000 from a market woman who wanted to sell for a fee of N10,000, the woman said.
Our correspondent noticed that the fuel attendant was directing customers to a PoS operator for the purpose of collecting money when they visited God’s Decision fuel station on Saturday in the Ikotun neighborhood of Lagos state.
Additionally, it was noted that the gas stations tacked on additional fees on top of the regular price a customer is expected to pay.
“Please sir, unless you want to give us cash, you have to add an extra N100 for the PoS charges if you want to pay through that means.”
He responded, “The extra charge is for the withdrawal of the money paid into the PoS,” when our correspondent asked him what the money was for. There is no additional fee if you pay in cash.
Our correspondent also noted that the use of the PoS resulted in a very long line at the gas station because customers had to wait for the PoS operator to confirm an alert before the product could be sold.
According to reports, the Central Bank of Nigeria discovered N6 million in brand-new notes in a bank on Bank Road in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State.
This was made known in a video that is currently trending online and was seen by a reporter.
While leading a group of CBN officials on a monitoring exercise in the state, Oluwole Owoeye, a deputy director of the central bank, discovered the newly redesigned N200 bills in the bank.
According to Owoeye, the bank had no justification for keeping the fresh banknotes it had acquired from the CBN for nearly two weeks.
The bank (CBN) has given them six million naira, which they have been collecting for almost two weeks, he said. They have not dispensed any. They said they are yet to configure their ATM.
“I’m not sure why. I have drawn their attention to the one million dollar per day penalty clause. There are 5 ATMs there. They have no justification for holding onto this money.
The money would be loaded into the ATM “by 10am tomorrow, at the very latest, because I told him by latest 10:00am I’ll be here and I want to see the machine dispensing this money,” the man claimed the bank’s zonal service manager had said.
However, a bank official who spoke on the record under the condition of anonymity claimed that the incident took place shortly after the newly designed notes went into circulation.
The bank’s ATMs have been dispensing fresh notes since, he continued. The incident occurred a few weeks ago when the newly released, redesigned notes first went into circulation; the bank did not hoard the money. That was prior to the bank’s ATM reconfiguration.
In a related development, oil and gas industry operators have urged the President to address the issue by ordering the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to increase the volume of gasoline being released to marketers as the fuel shortage worsens.
Billy Gillis-Harry, the president of the Petroleum Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, stated that the issue with the downstream oil sector is the scarcity of petroleum products. In order to improve the plight of the populace, the government should make this product available by working to eliminate these supply issues. How much longer will we behave in this manner?
Debo Ahmed, National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, also spoke and urged the government to increase its output, claiming that the NNPC’s supply of PMS was insufficient.