To lessen its detrimental effects on Nigerians, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been encouraged to rethink its naira swap policy by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Fashola responded to the outcry over the widespread scarcity of the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes since they were introduced on November 23, 2022, during a live appearance on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict on Monday.
The CBN states that from February 10, 2023, the old version of those denominations will no longer be accepted as legal cash as the top bank pursues illicit money hoarders ahead of the federal elections.
The minister bemoaned the difficulties caused by the apex bank’s instruction and emphasized the need of public officeholders reviewing their policies when they had the reverse of what was intended.
“I empathise with those challenges but some of them are the result of policy and it is the responsibility of public servants, especially those responsible for those policies to look back and say, ‘Did we intend to cause this pain?’
“And if the policy is not working, perhaps you have to readjust and to also ask yourself whether you thought this through. As a public officer, before and now, I have had cause to reverse myself, when I saw that my policies were causing unintended results.
“So, I have no responsibility on those two areas and therefore I cannot speak to the details of the facts that are available to the policymakers but the important thing is that those policies are not yet delivering the results and are delivering a lot of inconvenience for [people],” he said.