February 14, 2023

Naira crisis: Nigerians may revolt against leaders soon – Sultan

Naira scarcity: Aggrieved Nigerians may revolt against leaders soon - Sultan

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar has warned the ruling class that Nigerians may revolt against them soon if not is done to douse the tension nationwide caused by the scarcity of both fuel and Naira.

The monarch urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the problem to prevent an uprising.

The new naira scarcity has been worsened by the refusal of banks to accept the deposit of old notes.

Worried by the naira crisis, the Sultan said it has made life unbearable.

He said there was increasing tension caused by the CBN monetary policy, adding that urgent steps should be taken to stem the heat.

The Sultan spoke in Abuja at a two-day conference by the Kano State government on livestock reforms and mitigation of associated conflicts.

The royal father said: “Let’s keep politics aside. The issues of development, especially for the common man, (should be prioritised).

“These people that God Almighty gave leadership over, one day, God forbid, will rise (against us).

“After all the English by professors (at the conference), how do we get these developments down to the common man who is a farmer, the common Fulani man who doesn’t know anything about development? He only cares about cattle.

“The people are hungry – is there money? People are angry and hungry. Let’s see how we can douse the tension.”

Meanwhile, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has also warned that the crisis may lead to anarchy if not quickly addressed.

To minimise the impact on his people, he has barred the state Board of Internal Revenue Service from collecting 2023 revenue from all markets in the state until June.

Ikpeazu, who spoke through the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, John Kalu, said he was “deeply worried” by the naira crisis.

Kalu said: “The governor has visited many markets in the state since the cashless policy came into effect along with the scarcity of new currency notes as a result of the naira redesign.

“He observed that traders in the state are possibly the worst hit.

“Many of our traders are unable to transact with buyers as the policy implementers failed to capture their peculiar needs while rolling out the new policies.

“The traders are bearing the brunt, and as a responsible government, we are looking at various options to support them.

“One of those options is what the governor announced this afternoon (yesterday) during his visit to Good Morning Market, Aba, that, henceforth, state and LGA revenue collections in the markets will be suspended for at least six months starting from January 2023.”

The Commissioner urged banks in the state to immediately deploy sufficient Point of Sale machines to all markets, superstores, and other trading centres in the state to enable buyers to utilize their ATM cards for transactions.

He also urged the CBN to ensure that the new notes are made available to traders and residents in sufficient volume to avoid a breach of the peace that might result from the “massive suffering occasioned by the new transaction regimes.”

Kalu added: “We are not against the new cashless regime and redesigning of the naira notes by the Federal Government.

“But the governor is deeply worried about the effect on our hardworking traders as a result of the poor implementation strategy which failed to take into cognisance the peculiar needs of rural and urban traders.

“Many rural traders are unbanked, and even if they wish to join the banking system, the branches are not even there, hence, they might have to travel several kilometres to neighbouring communities before they can carry out their transactions.

“Quite a number of them may also not have enough formal education to help them operate the PoS machines, so the policymakers should have made provisions for their needs before rolling out.

“The immediate solution is to inject enough new naira notes into our rural economy through special interventions by the CBN to avert the looming socio-economic dislocation that might lead to anarchy.”