Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, claimed on Sunday that the CBN adopted a currency confiscation strategy rather than the indicated currency swap program that had been endorsed by the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), for the redesign of the national currency.
According to The PUNCH, the naira issue got worse last Thursday when the President disregarded the supreme court and extended the use of old N200 notes while maintaining that previous N500 and N1,000 notes were still illegal.
In his state broadcast, Buhari urged Nigerians to deposit their old N500 and 1000 notes with the CBN and announced that the old N200 note would be legal money for the next 60 days, until April 10, 2023.
El-Rufai expressed his displeasure with Buhari’s broadcast and criticized the President for issuing a directive that he said violated the February 8 Supreme Court order prohibiting the Federal Government from stopping its cash swap policy on February 10.
The El-Rufai-led Kaduna government instructed ministries, departments, and organizations to accept payments in both the old and new naira notes in defiance of Buhari’s order that the old N1,000 and N500 have ceased to be legal money.
The state’s people were urged by the governor to keep using the previous naira notes.
The Kaduna governor, however, said in a series of tweets sent on his Twitter account on Sunday that the bank simply seized the money because it was in excess of what was allowed under the currency swap policy.
He stated, “The President authorized and announced the makeover of the currency. Currency changed colors as a result.
“Section 20(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, as approved by PMB, provided for currency swaps. I take N100,000 to the bank in the old notes, and I instantly receive N100,000 in the new ones. Nothing more or less.
“The CBN unilaterally and illegally undertook currency confiscation during the cash swap since it removed more than N2 trillion from circulation while printing only N400 billion. Exchange and trade have stopped. As a result, there was human misery, economic recession, and poverty.
“Some State Governments were left with no choice but to request a ruling from the Supreme Court. The Progressive Governors Forum and the APC as a whole agree that until a final verdict on the lawsuit brought by the State Governments, policy implementation must be evaluated and full compliance with the Supreme Court’s current ruling must be observed.