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New Naira: We Didn’t Anticipate Challenges, Says CBN 

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday admitted that the ongoing scarcity associated with the naira redesign and cash withdrawal policy was not anticipated.

This came amid numerous protests and attacks on banks by angry Nigerians due to the inability to access cash for their regular transactions.

A Deputy Governor of the bank, Folashodun Shonubi, made the admission at the 22nd fellowship conferment lecture and ceremony organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers in Abuja.

The lecture was titled, “The intricacies of the naira redesign and its benefit to Nigerians”.

He explained that contrary to public opinion, the redesign plan which has been in the works for two years was not to punish anyone but to improve the economy.

The deputy governor who stated that challenges faced were caused by a new line of business created by indigenous Nigerians, revealed that numerous benefits have been achieved which include retrieval of N2 trillion to the banking system.

He said, “As you know, Nigerians are very ingenious. And we created a whole new line of business for people that we never envisaged.

“An aspect of that is queuing, where you sell your position on the queue for money. Night crawling, where you wait till night, collect numerous cards from your friends and family and go to an ATM and empty them using different cards and then take the cash to sell.

“So it’s been a bit stressful to be honest because we did not anticipate this kind of behaviour.”

Shonubi, however, noted the necessary challenges will soon be of the past adding that the apex bank will do everything within its powers to salvage the current situation.

“I believe that sooner rather than later, the stress ongoing in relation to money would reduce,” he concluded.

PUNCH

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