The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa, on Thursday in Abuja, said the new naira policy is putting the governing party, All Progressives Congress, at a disadvantage in the coming elections.
Doguwa, who chairs the Special Adhoc Committee on the Naira Redesign, Cashless Policy and Naira Swap in the lower chamber of the national assembly, revealed this after he led members of the committee to meet the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The meeting came hours after the President, in a televised message on Thursday morning, announced that only the old N200 notes would remain legal tender until April 10, 2023.
However, the Ad-hoc committee expressed dissatisfaction saying, “It is not yet Uhuru.”
Concerned about the implementation of the President’s directive, Doguwa said the committee expects the CBN to act immediately.
He also warned that it will perform its oversight functions to ensure full compliance and will, where necessary, invoke its legislative powers.
According to him, “We came to say to Mr. President that despite his broadcast this morning, in spite of the fact that he has told the CBN to make some amendments to take some new steps to ameliorate the hardship, it is not yet Uhuru.
“For instance, the Central Bank has been directed to make money available. But how do we ensure that Mr. President’s directive is being carried out? That cannot be guaranteed.
“Mr. President addressed us and addressed the CBN governor once again to our face and we used the opportunity to also tell the CBN governor that ‘you must go around to implement the directive of the President as contained in the letters of his speech.”
He cautioned the CBN and other relevant agencies against defaulting on the directive as the legislature will not spare its constitutional powers to impose penalties.
“Of course, while we are discharging our constitutional right to oversight every institution of government, we must ensure that the directive of Mr. President is carried out to the letter.
“Failure to do that, we must involve every instrumentality of the law, legislative instrumentality, to ensure that Presidential orders are being abided by and ensure that the laws of the land are also being respected.”
According to Doguwa, the new naira policy has dampened the chances of the APC in the coming elections.
He argued that not only do Nigerians now see the party as the source of their sufferings, but public officials elected on its platform also cannot access the requisite cash to run campaign rallies.
Doguwa argued that as a member of the House of Representatives, he requires at least N70m to foot fees for campaign logistics.
“I need to have N70m in hard copy. The law has permitted it and as I speak to you, I don’t have it. ATM stations have turned into wrestling grounds.
“I told Mr. President that the policy is against the ruling party, my party, because it’s a government policy, a government of the APC.
“And Nigeria’s at this time of elections are now looking at my government coming up with an unpopular policy,” he said.
The lawmaker argued that although party members see good in the policy, the timing is inappropriate.
He said, “Some of us see a lot of good things about the policy, but our worry as members of the ruling party is, why now?
“30-40 days to elections you come out with a policy that is not widely accepted by Nigerians and whether we like it or not that will be seen as the program of government.”
“So those of us in the APC are not happy about it. Why will you insist on cashless when even INEC has raised a lot of fears that without cash is needed to carry out activities by the electoral commission.”
Doguwa met the President in the company of other committee members, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele; representative of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; the Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijani Umar and the Economic Adviser to the President, Adedoyin Salami.