Give me seven days to resolve naira woes- Buhari

On Friday, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), urged citizens to give him seven days to resolve the cash crunch caused by the Central Bank of Nigeria's policy of replacing high-value naira notes with new ones. 

Buhari told the Progressive Governors' Forum, who paid him a visit at the Presidential Villa to seek solutions to the cash crunch, which they said was jeopardizing the administration's good records in transforming the economy, that the currency re-design would boost the economy and provide long-term benefits. He questioned the commitment of banks, in particular, to the policy's success. "Some banks are inefficient and only concerned with themselves," the President said, adding that "problems associated with selfishness and greed will not go away even if a year is added." 

He stated that he had seen television reports about cash shortages and hardship for local businesses and ordinary people, and promised that the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension would be used to crack down on whatever was impeding successful implementation. 

"I will contact the CBN and the minting company. "A decision will be made in the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension," the President was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu. 

The governors informed the President that, while they agreed that his decision on the currency redesign was sound and that they supported it wholeheartedly, its implementation had been botched, and their constituents were growing increasingly dissatisfied. 

They told the President that, as governors and party leaders in their respective states, they were concerned about the economy's downturn and the upcoming elections. 

They asked the President to use his authority to direct the simultaneous flourish of new and old notes until the end of the year. 

When considering whether to approve the policy, the President stated that he demanded an assurance from the CBN that no new notes would be printed in a foreign country, and they, in turn, assured him that there was enough capacity, manpower, and equipment to print the currency for local needs. He stated that he needed to return to find out what was going on. 

Buhari told the governors that because he was closer to the people, he had heard their cries and would act in such a way that a solution would be found.

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