Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has spoken out about the nationwide scarcity of the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes, telling President Muhammadu Buhari that the policy will not combat corruption.
Buhari has repeatedly defended the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) rapid introduction of new notes and phaseout of old notes in a matter of weeks.
Despite the hardships caused by the policy, which went into effect in December 2022 with the unveiling of the new notes, the President continues to support it.
The government claims that the CBN directive is aimed at illicit fund hoarders and corrupt politicians in the run-up to the general elections on February 25 and March 11.
Wike, on the other hand, slammed the implementation during a speech at a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign rally in Okrika Local Government Area (LGA), Rivers State, on Friday.
“Mr President, I know the pressure. But please, since two of us are going at the same time, this policy has nothing to [do with trying to] fight corruption at all. It has nothing to [do with trying to] fighting politicians at all,” he said.
“The policy aims to suffer the people who elected us to govern over them (sic). Our business is not to make the people suffer. We all know how to fight corruption; we all know how to fight politicians. This particular one does not come in at all