The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has debunked a newspaper publication that there was a meeting this week between the Federal Government, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the Progressive Governors Forum on the protracted currency redesign debacle.
In a statement signed on Wednesday evening by Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication) to the Kaduna State Governor, rather, contrary to the publication, what senior officials of the Federal Government did a few hours after the Supreme Court adjourned the currency redesign case on Wednesday, was to reach out to some governors, including Malam Nasir El-Rufai, on phone to initiate discussions on a possible out of court settlement.
According to El-Rufai, the terms proposed by the Federal Government were to allow only the old N200 note to remain legal tender and be circulated by the Central bank of Nigeria till April 10, 2023.
“They claimed that the CBN had already destroyed the old N500 and N1000 notes that had been deposited, but that those persons who still held the old notes could redeem them up to 10 April 2023.
“These were not considered as serious proposals, for obvious reasons. Circulating the old N200 notes alone would not be sufficient to relieve widespread human suffering in Kaduna State, and indeed in Nigeria today. They knew that and that is why they falsely claimed that the CBN had already destroyed the old N500 and N1000 notes. This is contrary to the fact available to the governors to the effect that the old notes were in the custody of commercial bank branches throughout Nigeria until the evening of Monday, February 13, and not a single N500 or N1000 had been destroyed,” the Kaduna State Governor clarified.
He said it was also a non-starter to insist on a new cutoff date without first assuring that sufficient new notes would have been printed and circulated.
According to him, “Information available to the governors also indicates that the Mint will need at least 12 months to print the minimum amount of N1 trillion needed to ensure a functioning trade and exchange environment in Nigeria.
“The tabling of false facts, inadequate solutions to the sufferings of our people, and the bad faith that some of the Federal Government negotiators displayed in our phone conversations and chats have now been taken further in leaking a false account and context to a respected medium.
“The plaintiff governors rejected the draft proposal as insincere, and invested our hopes in the Supreme Court of Nigeria,” he stated.
El-Rufai stressed that he would be addressing the people of Kaduna State on Thursday (today) on the currency redesign mess, the consequences of the extension of the injunction of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, and related matters.
“But the Kaduna State Government feels it is important tonight not to allow an exclusive falsehood to stand, or even gain the slightest traction. This statement is therefore issued to put the records straight,” he concluded.