CEM REPORT, FINANCE | The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has allayed fears that the naira scarcity will frustrate the forthcoming general election.
The CBN said it will make cash available to INEC to make necessary payments.
In a meeting on Tuesday at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, Mahmood Yakubu, chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) explained that while service providers needed for elections are generally paid by electronic transfer, there are critical areas such as transportation and emergencies where cash payments will be required.
“In view of the recent policy involving the redesign of some denominations of our national currency, and the limits placed on cash withdrawals and availability, we consider this meeting important in addressing some of the areas of concern with just 17 days to the 2023 general election.
“We are confident that arising from this meeting, we can assuage the anxiety expressed by some of our service providers.
“We’re determined to make the 2023 general election one of the best organised elections in Nigeria but we cannot do it alone.”
Responding, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the CBN remains committed to supporting INEC towards ensuring credible polls.
“Just a few months ago, I visited your office and you raised the issue of how foreign exchange can be procured for you to import other forms of election materials that needed to be imported,” he said.
“And I gave you my word that foreign exchange will be provided for that purpose. I sit here to confirm that as of today, not one dollar is owed. All dollars needed to procure those materials have been provided.
“Now, this issue of paying logistics for people who are going to be transporting election materials to wards, certainly I give it to you that because we regard the INEC project as an urgent national assignment, it cannot fail.
“The central bank will not allow itself either to be used or to be seen as an agent that frustrated positive outcome of the election.
“I give you the commitment that if in this case, after making your electronic payment you require some money to pay transporters, cash, we will make it available.
“I will make sure that we will not allow ourselves to be seen as an agent that frustrated a positive outcome of the election.”