A former Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, says President Muhammadu Buhari has limited knowledge of economics.
Sani, who spoke on Tuesday on Arise TV, said the naira redesign policy has brought suffering to Nigerians.
He said there should have been a wide consultation beyond getting approval from the president before the introduction of the policy, noting that the country is in “a man-made economic turbulence.
“But what is wrong in this policy is that there should have been a wide consultation. It’s not simply about the CBN governor going to the president to get his approval over an issue that I believe that the president of the country has limited knowledge of because he is not an economist.
“Secondly, I expected that before such a decision was made, there could have been a wide consultation with the National Assembly and also the civil societies. By doing that, you are carrying the whole country along and then ideas will be crystalised and then problems that may arise will be predicted and then they can be solved.
“But for now, all that we have known was that the governor of the central bank has made it very clear that all he needed was the approval of Mr President and then he got it and now everyone is paying the price.
“Well, to be fair, if this redesigning of the naira and the cashless policy is about combatting or containing vote-buying, that is a very good initiative. But the fallout or the consequences of it on the other side is that people are suffering, and you don’t know which of the notes to accept.
“They will tell you today you can use the old notes and you go to buy things the money is not available and if you have to use the cashless system, sometimes the alert doesn’t come in time and as such, the whole transaction in the country has become a problem.
“Even our communities in the border areas now are using currencies like the cfa and other currencies from other countries and then as we have heard people in rural areas have resorted to trade by barter. So, we have just gotten ourselves into an economic turbulence that is man-made, that is designed and then it could have been avoided.
“There was a time when we raised our voice and said you can redesign the naira, you can implement cashless policy, but why don’t you get ideas from the civil society, from traders, from marketers, from industrialists, from the economists, from the general public so that we would all be carried along and then everyone will now give his own input on how these issues can be tackled.
“And how can the people that have paraded themselves as experienced in managing finance, banks, and whatever get us to this kind of situation?”