By Biodun Busari
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has advised rich Nigerians hoarding old naira notes to give them out to the less privileged at festive periods.
Adesina made this known on Friday in an article entitled ‘My Naira note is newer than yours.’
Recall that Buhari unveiled the new naira notes on 23rd November following the announcement of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele to redesign the naira as part of monetary policy to combat hoarding of banknotes outside the banking system.
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Emefiele had said, “There was an urgent need to take control of currency in circulation and to address the hoarding of Naira banknotes outside the banking system, the shortage of clean and fit banknotes in circulation and the increase in counterfeiting of high-denomination Naira banknotes. It is on this basis that I gave my approval for the redesign of the ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 banknotes.”
While the CBN Governor has Buhari’s backing, many criticisms have greeted the new naira notes.
Meanwhile, the monetary initiative has blown open clandestine acts of some Nigerians were bringing out their stockpiled naira notes, with many of them rotten.
Reacting to the CBN’s naira redesign publicly for the first time, Adesina said the old naira notes hoarders should emulate the generosity of Santa Claus by giving out the hoarded cash to the destitute at Christmas and New Year’s time.
The presidential media aide claimed the money was an inheritance of poor Nigerians, adding that giving the money out might serve as reparation for the looters’ depravities and theft.
“The deed is done. From December 15, the new notes swing in, and run parri-passu with the old ones till January 31 next year. What do the cornered rats do with their loot? Throw them away? Burn them? Or eat them, if possible?
“I have an advice for the possessors of these loots. The festive season is upon us. Become like Santa Claus, and begin to dish out monetary gifts. In bales and loads. Give to the poor, the needy, the aching, and the hurting,” Adesina said.
“It was part of their patrimony, which you had appropriated. Simply return it to them. What does it profit a man, if he gains the whole cash, and the money becomes redundant? Become a do-gooder, at least between now and January ending. Who knows, you may even expiate, atone for your sins of larceny and plunder,” he added.