Ben Ezechime, Enugu
Dr Ambrose Igboke, a public affairs analyst, has condemned the poor handling of the old naira notes and the new notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Igboke said that the apex bank goofed in the way and manner it handled the exercise thereby subjecting the Nigeria masses to unwarranted and unnecessary hardship.
He bared his mind on a TVC News current affairs programme monitored in Enugu by Ikengaonline.
He said: “I maintain that the CBN goofed by withholding access to the new naira notes, it was a clear manifestation of poor planning.
“The policy was announced four months ago but the actual circulation of the new notes started just a month ago.
“However, Nigerians were denied access to the new notes.”
The analyst regretted that even with about 36 hours to the CBN deadline of Jan 31, to phase out the old notes, the ATMs and banks still dispensed the old notes.
According to Igboke, “how does one explain a policy where old notes were returned to the banks and customers were given same old notes to circulate? It’s a paradox.
“The plan to prevent corruption and vote buying by bullion van politicians has been taken care of by the withdrawal limits, so why punish Nigerians?”
He lamented that many small businesses have closed for business due to lack of new notes, leading to more hardship to the already impoverished poor masses.
“Many businesses are now closed due to scarcity of naira notes.
“Many families will starve this week due to lack of access to new naira notes,” he said.
But the CBN on Sunday announced the extension of the deadline on the use of the old notes to February 10.