The Council of State has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to print more redesigned naira notes or allow the new and old banknotes circulate concurrently to ease tension caused by scarcity of cash.
The Council approved the naira redesign policy of the CBN but faulted its implementation.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the Council meeting chaired by the President, the Attorney General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami, who was flanked by Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, said that the Council illuminated the need for aggressive action by the CBN to ensure adequate supply of the naira in the system for proper implementation of the policy.
Echoing submissions by the Council, Governor Ishaku stated that it proffered a number of suggestions to the President, particularly on the currency swap challenge which dominated discussions, following a debriefing from the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, and expressed the hope that President will take a decision soon by way intervention.
On the 2023 elections, Malami, also expressed the Council’s satisfaction with the level of preparation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the institutions.
Those who attended the Council meeting chaired by the President include the former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan; Yakubu Gowon, and Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo who attended virtually.
Also present at the chamber was the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Governors in attendance are Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), and Babagana Zulum (Borno). Other governors that are virtually in attendance are Ademola Adeleke (Osun), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and the Deputy Governors Nasarawa and Bauchi States.
The Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele also attended the meeting.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu was also physically in attendance and was expected to brief the council on the preparations ahead of the 2023 elections.
All Service Chiefs and Heads of security agencies were also physically present.
The President had on February 3 asked for seven days (which expires today) to resolve the crisis caused by the scarcity of the new naira notes to subdue the encumbrances mitigating against the successful implementation of the policy.