• Naira Redesign-Deadline in Order but......-Prof. Olagoke

    Prof 9The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has insisted that the January 31st deadline for the invalidation of the old naria notes remains unchanged.

    However, the Federal House of Representatives and the Senate want the apex bank to extend the deadline to 30th June, for the benefit of millions of Nigerians. Interestingly, a sizable number of Nigerians who have handled the new notes have expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction with the quality of the new notes compared to the old ones.

    In his reaction, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafasudeen-in-Islam worldwide, Prof. Sabitu OlagokeJP, opines that the deadline for the withdrawal of the 200, 500 and 1,000 Naira notes is in order, but warns that this could result in negative consequences. Excerpts:

    What is your reaction to the insistence of the CBN that the January 31st deadline remains unchanged for the invalidation of the old naira notes?

    First and foremost, we should not lose sight of the purpose of the introduction of the new Naira notes, which which is to curb the excesses of politicians and to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) conducts free, fair and credible elections.

    This will usher in the truly chosen ones for the next political dispensation. Vote buying has always been the bane of our struggle to have genuine representatives in power, making the efforts and the huge amount being spent on the election be without impact.

    The January 31st deadline by the CBN, therefore, must have been informed by the advice of its in-house economic experts.

    This advice may revolve around the need to curb the spending tendencies of politicians before, during and after the elections.

    To be fair to the CBN, 80 per cent of Nigeria's money in circulation is outside the box of control of the apex bank.

    However, the following challenges must be addressed without losing focus of the objectives for introducing the new naira notes:

    1)Nigerians, particularly traders across the country o are feeling the impact of the unavailability of the new naira notes.

    2)There are also challenges to getting old naira notes into the banking system.

    3) Businesses are shutting down and markets are operating at a reduced capacity as the deadline for the collection of the old naira notes is near.

    4)The new notes are not easily accessible presently.
    ATM machines are still dispensing the old notes.
    I believe that the January 31st deadline should remain and that Nigerians should bear and cope with the scramble that comes with such changes.
    Stemming from all the accompanying negative developments that have trailed the naira redesign, further efforts to cushion the effects of poverty and hunger must be intensified to be able to achieve rational changes for which the new naira notes are designed.

  • 7.2 VAT Increase : Govt Obeying the Directives of Unseen Forces-AWC

    The All Workers Convergence(AWC) has declared that the faulty policies of the Federal Government are fall outs of the external directives under implementation.

    The AWC made this declaration through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.

    ‘’President Muhammadu Buhari and his government are obeying directives from unseen foreign forces, to devalue our national currency and the economy, thus the 7.2 per cent increment in the Value Added Tax(VAT). It is more painful that this is coming at a time when workers are making demands for an increase in wages and when such wage increment has not been implemented, government has decided to make goods and services more expensive, thereby, in a way, putting unimaginable burden on impoverished Nigerians.’’

    ‘’As a matter of fact this policy is not welcomed, it must be rejected by Nigerians and Labor unions should seek its immediate reversal. The AWC joins its voice with Nigerians to call on President Buhari to immediately reverse the unwanted policy’’, Comrade Emelieze stated.