TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to sanction financial institutions involved in hoarding naira currency and ensure that the new notes are made available to the people.
He said the state government has been sacrificing so much to calm frayed nerves and warned CBN against taking the patience of the people of Osun for granted.
He made these remarks while addressing CBN officials in his office on Monday.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, Governor Adeleke decried the increasing shortage of the new notes, explaining that he has been deploying state network to douse tension and ensure safety of banks and the CBN state office.
According to the governor, his intervention in the last few weeks had ensured that Osun state is saved from increasing conflict across some South Western states, expressing unhappiness at the current hardship the people are experiencing.
Addressing the bank officials, Adeleke said, “the situation is getting out of hand. The CBN must act fast. Any bank hoarding the new notes must be sanctioned. We should not treat such banks with kid gloves.
“My people are patient but we should not take their patience for granted. That is why I called for this meeting. Why are the new notes not available? Is the supply small or inadequate? ” Adeleke queried.
He expressed the readiness of his government to partner with the CBN for the currency swap, informing the CBN team that the state is sacrificing a lot to maintain peace and calm frayed nerves.
“The new notes are not available. Even as a State Governor, I don’t have the new notes. You can see how hard it is for our people to access the new currency if their Governor is not getting them. We should not overstretch the cooperation we are enjoying from the citizenry. We are expected as elected and appointed leaders to respond to the needs and aspirations of our people,” Adeleke admonished.
Responding, the CBN state director, Oluyemi Adeyemi, commended the state governor for his proactive steps that has saved the state from naira related riots.
“We must thank Mr. Governor for reaching out to the people, for diffusing tension, for keeping the state peaceful. We aware of the day Mr. Governor stopped some angry youth from demonstrating and from attacking the CBN office.
“On our part, we are working hard to make the new notes available. Let me say that the CBN has issued queries to some banks. I assure Nigerians that we are working hard to make the new notes available,” the CBN official stated.
The meeting set up a monitoring mechanism between the state government and the CBN to ensure allocated new notes get to the populace.