President Muhammadu Buhari is dissatisfied with the suffering residents are experiencing as a result of the naira redesign strategy, according to Zainab Ahmed, Minister Of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.
On Thursday, the minister addressed the media during a briefing hosted by the presidential communications staff in Abuja.
For the usage of old notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had set a deadline of January 31; however, it was most recently extended to February 10.
Despite the extension, Nigerians continue to struggle with long lines at ATMs and banking centers due to a lack of new naira notes.
Ahmed who described the situation as “temporary and transient”, said it was a necessary price to pay for the nation’s economy to get better.
She said “We are not happy that citizens have to queue and struggle at ATMs to be able to get their cash. But this is a temporary situation.
“Let me just give you an analogy. If you have a wound, for you to be able to heal that wound, you need to be dressed.
“And sometimes, when you go to the hospital, they put iodine on the wound and it is very painful. It is necessary to do that to be able to get the wound to heal.
“So, it’s not easy. Mr. President is not happy that citizens are suffering.
“But we are convinced that it is something that needs to be done at this time and also the Central Bank has been responsive in terms of providing some extension and also further explanation that it is not all over.
“There is still opportunity for citizens as provided for in the CBN Act, Section 20 subsection 3 to actually take the old currency to the central bank for redemption.”
Naira redesign policy, according to Ahmed, will contribute in the fight against corruption.
She continued by saying that the enormous accumulation of cash outside the banking system has some advantageous impacts.