Ben Ezechime, Enugu
Some residents of Enugu have expressed mixed reactions over the address by President Muhammadu Buhari especially his directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release N200 notes into circulation until the next 60 days.
A cross section of the residents in separate interviews with Ikengaonline applauded the decision of Mr President and described a step in the right direction.
The residents, however, task the CBN on the need for proper and quick release of the new and old notes to douse tension across Enugu State and Nigeria at large.
Barrister, Olu Omotayo, a member of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) said the action of the president, though may not end the suffering of Nigerians, but can alleviate it.
He said: “The truth is that, nobody is against the policy but the timing and the implementation is the problem.
“There was not enough time and the CBN is not pushing forward the new notes into circulation, which means that, probably the Bank was not ready.
“What the president has just done is a palliative, just to cushion the effects of the suffering of the masses.”
The legal practitioner argued that the apex bank ought to have begun the process long before now, so that the old and new notes would exist side by side until the old one fades away.
In the same vein, Mr Ambrose Eze, a social commentator, said the return to circulation of N200 old notes was a welcome development but expressed doubt on the availability of the notes.
According to him, the N200 note was one of the common notes used by the masses, adding that its circulation will surely reduce the tensions.
“However, that is not to say that the situation has ended unless the CBN accelerates the circulation of both the old and new notes.
“People should be allowed to play with their hard earned cash the way they want, no matter the denomination: these denominations should be available,” he said.
Mrs Theresa Okoye, a policy analyst, applauded the president for his intervention.
She said that the release of N200 notes into circulation, if well implemented, would go a long way to bringing down the frustrations people are going through.
“I think it is a step in the right direction because N200 note is very easy to come by.
“If you are boarding buses, tricycle (Keke), Okada and so on, N200 note is what people use; so, it will surely bring some confidence back to the people,” she said.
Okoye, however, advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make available enough N200 notes and other denominations as soon as possible.
“The success of any policy depends on its implementation, therefore, the CBN must be on their toes,” she said.