Senate President Godswill Akpabio says the redesigned Naira notes introduced by former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, shortly before the 2023 general elections, was aimed at disrupting the conduct of the polls.
Emefiele had in October 2022 announced the re-design of N200, N500 and N1,000 naira notes, declaring that the old naira notes would remain legal tender until January 31, 2023.
This required the swapping of the old naira notes with the re-designed currencies before the expiration of the deadline.
Emefile had claimed that the policy was meant to, among others, migrate the country from a cash-based to cashless economy. The former CBN governor revealed that as at September 2022, N2.73 trillion naira of the N3.23 trillion naira in circulation was outside of the banking system.
But the currency redesign policy ended in unintended consequences and hardship for citizens.
Akpabio, who was speaking on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday during the screening of Olayemi Cardoso, nominee for the position of CBN governor and four deputy governor nominees for the apex bank, asked Cardoso if he would also dabble in politics like his predecessor.
Although Akpabio refrained from mentioning Emefiele’s name, it was clear he was referring to him.
The Senate President said, “CBN Governor, will you uphold the integrity, steadfastness to resist when politicians come to you to join the presidential race and display your posters even as a sitting CBN Governor in political conventions?
“Will you rush to display your profile electronically at political conventions while sitting as a governor because politicians have told you that you have enough money in CBN to do it?
“Don’t forget the fact that the money in the Central Bank isn’t for you. Will you have the courage to resist the temptation to listen to politicians and throw your hat into the ring and go back to your office and sit as CBN governor?
“Will you rush to sabotage the election in Nigeria by going for new notes, two days to the election when no country in the world changes new notes within one year, you do your own in 14 days or 11 to see how you can sabotage the election in Nigeria?”