The Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Oyo, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, has called on the Federal Government not to allow Naira notes redesign to cause more hardship for the masses.
Badejo made the call in a statement on Saturday in Ibadan.
He said that governance and policies must have a human face.
The cleric said that scarcity of the new Naira notes would inflict suffering on Nigerians.
According to him, many citizens are depositing their old Naira notes without any guarantee of getting the new notes.
Badejo said that Central Bank of Nigeria’s insistence on Jan. 31 deadline for turning in old notes would only be justifiable if it had done everything necessary to make new notes available to the largest percentage of Nigerians.
“Why should the general public suffer?
“The story is even more dire in large swathes of the country where there is no banking service whatsoever within kilometres. Are those living there not Nigerians too?
“The whole scenario is complicated by the paralysing fuel scarcity which has now raised the price of petrol to N400 or more per litre in some places.
“All these are coming on top of skyrocketing prices of goods and services, sending the anger and frustration of struggling masses through the roof, with the 2023 General Elections only weeks away,” he said.
The Nigerian Government and its officials must react quickly to the current hard times.
“If the monetary policy is hurting the same people which it is intended to serve, why can’t some modification be made to its timing and execution?” he asked.
He said that government policies and actions should be targeted at making life better for the masses.
“Therefore, in executing even the best and most urgent policies, the people’s interest must be at the centre,” Badejo said.