The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa has expressed suspicion that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele “misled” President Muhammadu Buhari on the redesign of the N200, N500, N1,000 bank notes.
Doguwa, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also the Chairman of the House Adhoc Committee on the redesign of three naira notes, said he believes the President will take the right steps to remedy his action.
The lawmaker, who spoke on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, said the naira swap will frustrate the 2023 general elections and doubted the sincerity of the CBN chief who was once a presidential aspirant in the APC.
Explaining why he thinks the President was misled to approve the redesign of the three bank notes, the lawmaker said, “The President as chief executive of government or the President as C-in-C (Commander-in-Chief), who of course is the leader of the party on one hand. I want to also look at the central bank and Emefiele as governor of the bank on another hand.
“Perhaps when the President is presented with misleading briefing that is not quite express to even understand the implications therein, then, definitely, the President is bound to act in wrong direction. That is my suspicion and that is my own understanding.”
The APC stalwart said he met with the President on Sunday and he expressed his dissatisfaction, insisting that the CBN governor’s inability to honour the invitation by the green chamber is an affront to the CBN Act and the legislative arm of government.
Doguwa said the deadline extension by the President goes to confirm that he wasn’t fully briefed on the implications of the naira redesign before the implementation of the policy.
“It (the extension) goes to confirm to you that if the President was actually briefed ab initio of the implications and the outcome of the naira redesign, then definitely he won’t have come now to say let’s extend it by 10 days, which means there is an issue.
“So, I am sure Mr President will be one humble leader to understand when he is misled and he should be able to now come look at the right thing and take the right decision like he is doing now,” Doguwa stated, adding that the House will go ahead to issue an arrest warrant on the apex bank chief should he further fail to honour an invite by the lower chamber.
The CBN had on October 26, 2022, announced its plan to redesign the three banknotes. Buhari subsequently unveiled the redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, while the apex bank fixed January 31 deadline for the validity of the old notes.
The CBN also pegged its weekly cash withdrawal limits to N500,000 for individuals and N5m for corporate firms.
Many Nigerians have lamented the scarcity of new notes as the January 31 deadline approached while the National Assembly demanded a six-month extension.
However, emerging from a meeting with the President on Sunday, the apex bank chief said Buhari gave permission for the deadline to be extended to February 10.