Rural poor: ACF begs Buhari, CBN for cash swap deadline extension
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the January 31, 2023 deadline for submission of old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes.
The Forum said the reason for their appeal is that the exercise sas laden with challenges especially for rural poor.
ACF Secretary General, Malam Murtala Aliyu, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, said few days to the deadline, majority of the people in the Northern rural areas and even some people in the urban areas were unable to change their old currencies for new ones as the new notes are scarce.
“Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) strongly calls on the President and the CBN to as a matter of urgency extend the expiration date of the exercise and improve on the arrangements so as to accommodate everyone with genuine cases. We appreciate the efforts by the National Assembly to intervene and call to order the arrogance and insensitivity being displayed by the leadership of the Central Bank.
“As the dateline for the exchange expires this coming Tuesday, we are afraid that majority of our people in the rural areas are unable to change their old currencies for the new ones, this is because even in the urban centers, the new notes are scarce. Also, where the CBN made some arrangements to facilitate such, the exercise is being challenged by numerous factors, such as lack of adequate access to bank services on the part of the people, cumbersome exchange procedure, etc.
“This has subjected innocent people to hardships, uncertainty and anxiety. We are of the strong belief that ordinary people especially in the North will lose their hard earned moneys through no fault of theirs. Government must be sensitive to the plight of the citizens to safeguard their interests in all areas.
“Insinuations by some political actors that the exercise is designed deliberately to fail, or cause chaos to sabotage the ongoing democratic process should not be allowed to be proven. Persons who lose their wealth through uncoordinated government policy or actions are likely to assume they have been let down by the said government,” the statement said.