President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the government will ensure that citizens are unharmed in their businesses and no disruption is caused to the entire supply chain arising from the currency swap due to end shortly.
Buhari was reacting to reports of long queues of people waiting for hours to deposit old notes and get new ones, a situation which has triggered public anger and criticism from the opposition.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President underscored that the currency swap targets people hoarding illicit funds and not the common man.
He maintained that it had become necessary to prevent counterfeits, corruption, and terrorist funding, assuring that the change will help stabilize and strengthen the economy.
While taking note that the poorest section of society is facing hardship as they often keep hard cash at home for various expenses, the President further gave strong assurances that the government will not leave them to their own fate.
He reiterated that a number of initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and all commercial banks are underway to speed up distribution of the new notes and do all that is necessary to forestall cash squeeze and chaos.
The CBN first informed Nigerians about the plan to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes on October 26, 2022, saying the old notes would no longer be valid after January 31, 2023.
Buhari unveiled the new notes in December 2022.