Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has described the Nationwide Broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Naira Redesign Policy as a step to help in alleviating the suffering of Nigerians who are the unintended victims of the Scarcity created by the Policy.
Mr Babatunde Fashola who was speaking to the TVC News Breakfast Show on Friday Morning said the President intervened on the part of the long suffering Nigerians so that suffering will be reduced.
He added that the developments around the issue of Naira Redesign by the Central Bank of Nigeria and comments by most Nigerians both in positions of authority and those seeking office has shown that the Nations’ democracy has made huge strides.
He described Statements by People like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Others has shown that most Nigerians have not lost their voices in addressing issues of Law and those on the tenets of Democracy.
He said the issue has also been stressed beyond limit.
He described the action of the President as not a disobedience of Court orders but finding a Solution for people before the Court verdict.
Mr Fashola said the discussion around the policy enriches the nations’ Democratic practice and has shown that people have not lost their voices and standing on the side of the masses.
Mr Fashola said the people involved have not taken the easy option out of going silent because they are seeking office to ensure that people do not suffer.
He described those who have spoken out against the Policy as men of Courage and character for taking a stand that is essentially the Policy of their Political.
He added that the leadership by Asiwaju Tinubu on the matter has shown that he is the kind of President Nigerians are looking for who has put public good ahead of personal gain.
According to him, this is the first time the Central Bank of Nigeria is putting in places Policies that is backed by the law and are having the desired effect.
He said the important thing is to be prepared to make amends once the policy creates unintended victims or consequences.
He said this is what the President has done adding that is against the practice of the past when a Central Bank Governor is removed for the most mundane of reasons.
Going Further, Mr Fashola a Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the net thing is for Parliament to take another look at the laws governing the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that Politics and Other Sectors have not left the bank behind.
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He expressed his surprise that the Laws governing the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria has allowed what he termed as essentially a currency mop up to happen.
He said what the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Act contemplates is replacement or swap which is not what is happening.
He said the idea of mopping up of currency from people is not what the act supported but replacing value for value when replacing the old with the new currencies.
He said a better way of addressing the issue would have been to double down on supply of new notes to people while they bring in their old notes which has not happened.
According to Mr Fashola, the Central Bank of Nigeria may have overreached itself in the application of the laws in the implementation of the Redesign Policy and Currency Swap.
He also expressed fear for the Banking Sector disclosing that he is hopeful that their will be no run on the banks by speculators leading to more problems for the Sector.
Mr Fashola added that earlier Currency Redesign exercise did not cause much pain meaning something is not right in the implementation of the Policy.