Currency Swap: Buhari orders immediate arrest, prosecution of saboteurs
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies in checking the activities of those bent on frustrating the smooth implementation of the currency redesign policy.
He gave the directive while addressing Nigerians on the CBN currency swap policy and State of the Nation.
Buhari, who spoke on Thursday in Abuja, called on the apex bank to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation should be made to bear the full weight of the law.
The President said: “I am not unaware of the obstacles placed on the path of innocent Nigerians by unscrupulous officials in the banking industry, entrusted with the process of implementation of the new monetary policy.
“I am deeply pained and sincerely sympathise with you all over these unintended outcomes.
“To stem this tide, I have directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that our citizens are adequately educated on the policy; enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through availability of appropriate amount of currency; and ability to make deposits.
“I have similarly directed that the CBN should intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies, so as to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation should be made to bear the full weight of the law.”
The Nigerian leader maintained that during the extended phase of the deadline for currency swap, he listened to invaluable pieces of advice from well-meaning citizens and institutions across the nation.
Buhari said: “Considering the health of our economy and the legacy we must bequeath to the next administration and future generations of Nigerians, I admonish every citizen to strive harder to make their deposits by taking advantage of the platforms and windows being provided by the CBN.
“Let me assure Nigerians that our administration will continue to assess the implementation with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are not unnecessarily burdened.
“In this regard, the CBN shall ensure that new notes become more available and accessible to our citizens through the banks.
“I wish to once more appeal for your understanding till we overcome this difficult transient phase within the shortest possible time.”
On the forthcoming February 25 presidential election, the President affirmed that the new monetary policy had also contributed immensely to the minimisation of the influence of money in politics.
According to Buhari, this is a positive departure from the past and represents a bold legacy step by this administration towards laying a strong foundation for free and fair elections.