Governor Nyesom Wike has argued that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) redesign of the naira is politically motivated and that those who are supporting it are being dishonest.
In Port Harcourt, Rivers state, on Tuesday, Wike accepted a letter of nomination for Independent Man of the Year 2022. He said the poor living conditions in Nigeria have gotten worse as a result of the CBN’s shoddy handling of the naira exchange.
Wike said, “We are in a difficult situation now. It doesn’t matter what anybody may say. Nigerians are suffering now and as a people we owe that responsibility to cushion the hardship Nigerians are facing and not to worsen the situation.
“Nobody says, and let it be on record that there is nothing wrong with redesigning our naira. What we are saying is the implementation will not help, rather it will aggravate the condition that people face, particularly the poor people.”
According to the Rivers State governor, those insisting that the naira swap policy will curb corruption and eliminate vote buying during the general election are not sincere.
He said, “The whole thing is being political, and that is not what it is supposed to be.
“You have also not made the new one available and then you have said we can’t collect the old one again. Now, you that even have money in the bank, you’re not allowed to even collect your money.”
The governor pointed out that individuals who advocate for Nigerians to use online banking have neglected to consider the reality that the vast majority of people, especially in the rural areas, lack bank accounts.
Speaking, the Managing Director of the Independent Newspapers, Steve Omanufeme, told Wike, “Everybody can see and know what you have done in Rivers. But beyond that, we are giving this award because of your action which people misunderstood, especially your contribution to good governance, your dogged fight for justice, equity and fairness.
“This award is to put it in history that you were there, you came and you conquered, and even tried to make us, we the spectators, believe in you. We pray we carry it on and tell Nigerians that the oppressed must be released from the shackles.”