February 6, 2023

Naira redesign causes hardship for troops fighting Boko Haram — Ndume laments

Senator Ali Ndume


By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri

Senator representing Borno South and Chairman of Senate Committee on Army, Mohammed Ali Ndume has added his voice to negative reactions trailing the redesign and poor issuance of the new naira notes with its attendant scarcity, lamenting that the policy made by Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has caused more economic harm on military troops fighting Boko Haram/ISWAP and other terrorist activities in the country.

He said, the new policy has forced many frontline troops, especially those fighting Boko Haram/ ISWAP to a perpetual hunger, as they could not get the new currency to buy food items within some areas of engagement.

Ndume stated this on Saturday while interacting with Journalists at his Maiduguri, residence.

He said, the hardship posed on Nigerians by this CBN policy, have nearly caused the life of a soldier when some mobs attempted to kill him during a fracas at one of the ATM queues.

The Senator pointed out that, apart from subjecting troops to hunger, the shortage of the new naira notes have caused logistical problems for military operations in moving their fighting equipment.

He noted that, although, he was not against the CBN policy of redesigning a new currency, but such money should be made available to the general public irrespective of political or social background in line with international best practices.

“I want to category join other concerned Nigerians for voicing out their anger on the current shortages of the newly redesigned naira notes which jas crippled economic activities all over the country.

“I want to tell Federal Government, and particularly the CBN that the situation on the ground is not only affecting the masses, but most importantly is affecting the military operations and other security agencies who are fighting against terrorism and other criminal activities in the country.

“This is because, what i discovered during my recent visit to my constituency, is that, many soldiers who were deployed to various remote areas, are finding it very difficult to survive, as they don’t have money to buy food and other non-food items.

“If as a senator, I am yet to get access to the new currency, what of troops who are on the frontline defending our nation from terrorists? I am aware that even some troops who have secured a PASS do come to nearby commercial banks to withdraw, but most of them end up disappointed as the new naira notes remained inaccessible on the counter or from the Automated Teller Machines, and ATMs.

“It is very unfortunate that the hardship posed on Nigerians by this CBN policy has nearly caused the life of a soldier when some mobs attempted to kill him during a fracas at one of the ATM queues.” Ndume lamented.

He, therefore, call on the federal government and the CBN to expedite action to ensure that the new currency is made available to the people with immediate effect, so as to avoid similar protests witnessed during the EndSARS. 

Vanguard report that the CBN had while implementing the policy, printed only N300 billion, while it has recovered about N2.7 trillion old notes in circulation.