Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to postpone his planned visit to the state due to security concerns and hardship resulting from the difficulty in obtaining the new naira notes.
The president scheduled to visit Kano on January 30 and 31 to commission some projects executed by the Ganduje administration.
“Deeply concerned with the hardship caused by the limited time given for halting the use of old Naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and for security reasons, Kano State governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje reveals that the state resolved and wrote to Presidency that, the visit of the President to commission some projects to be postponed,” a statement by the governor’s media aide, Abba Anwar, disclosed.
This statement comes days after youths staged protest in Katsina, during President Buhari’s visit, to express their anger and frustration over the naira redesign policy.
Ganduje, who also called for an extension of the deadline for returning old naira notes was quoted as saying lawmakers from the state, political stakeholders and the business community agree with the decision to postpone the planned visit.
The statement noted that the naira redesign policy and the looming deadline is causing “untold hardship” for the citizens.
“As we are waiting for this important visit, we found ourselves in this situation, which puts citizens into untold hardship. For security purposes, we wrote to Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Kano is postponed,” the statement reads.
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“We got an acknowledgement copy of the letter. People are suffering because of this policy.
“During the meeting with sections of citizens in the state, they accepted that the decision was a unanimous one. As they all spoke in support of the letter sent to the Presidency.
“Two serving senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya and Barau Jibrin, Twenty members of the House of Representatives and Thirty legislators from the State House of Assembly were amongst the groups that put their weight behind the governor.”
“There are no banks in most of our rural communities. How these people get new Naira notes is of great concern. Just look at what is happening in our urban areas, people go and spend hours upon hours in banks. And without any assurances of getting the new notes,” the statement reads.
“Even at Point of Sales (POS) , according to the governor, one cannot transact with ease, hinting that, many of them closed shops due to uncertainty.
“Kano, being a commercial hub, must be heard loudly and clearly because this problem affects all of us. Therefore our voice must be heard in all nooks and crannies.”
Despite the complaints and calls for the deadline to be extended, Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, had insisted on the January 31st deadline for the validity of the old 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes.
Emefiele also has the backing of President Buhari, who said “there is no going back” on the deadline.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.
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