The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State and Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Teslim Folarin, has decried the untold hardship on Nigerians, occasioned by scarcity of petroleum products and new naira notes.
Folarin was reacting to the protests that rocked Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday.
The APC candidate, in a statement by his media aide, Com YSO Olaniyi, said the masses have been pushed to the wall, hence the protests across the country.
Folarin noted that he was on the side of the downtrodden masses.
“Scarcity of naira notes and petroleum products have paralysed economic activities and other social lives in Oyo State and other states of the federation.
“It is unacceptable to see our people sleeping at filling stations and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) galleries. It is unfair for Mr. Emefiele to subject our people to further hardship through his half-baked currency policy
“The CBN declared that N3.2trn old currencies are still in circulation but printed just N300bn new notes, according to the state governors. To make the situation worse, almost all ATMs across the country dispensed old naira notes from December 2022 till end of January 2023. This was an indication that the CBN was not ready for what it intended to do.
“The glaring reality is that the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, is insincere about the availability of the new notes. It is now visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that CBN Governor is acting the script of the cabals who are vehemently against removal of subsidy.
“Having failed in his bid to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Emefiele moved to change the currencies without carrying along the National Assembly, state Governors, Ministers and other critical stakeholders.
“It is not an APC policy to change currencies but Mr. Emefiele is being used by economic saboteurs to turn the country upside down. However, President Muhammadu Buhari has uncovered the evil plot; hence the Friday meeting with all the Executive Governors. Mr. President is a father and listening leader, he will holistically address the worrying situation.
“I want to point out that CBN’s pronouncement that old naira notes cease to be legal tender after February 10th contravenes the CBN Act. Mr. Emefiele must act as a patriotic Nigerian for once by acting in accordance with the relevant sections of the Nigerian Constitution.
“The CBN Act, Section 20 (3) allows acceptance of old notes until they are mopped out of circulation. The demand to extend the withdrawal date of old currency notes from Jan. 31, 2023 to June 31, 2023 is not a favour but a constitutional matter,” Folarin said.