The Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, has revealed that he and his family are facing a cash scarcity challenge due to the currency redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). During an interview on Channels Television’s programme, The 2023 Verdict, Kalu disclosed that his household could not afford to cook recently because of the cash shortage.
He stated, “You can see the policy is right, but I don’t keep money in my house. I am suffering. The other day, my house manager told my wife in Abuja that we have no money to cook food. My wife was virtually roaming around, and we feed over 250 people every day. It is a problem to me and to everybody.”
Kalu lamented the scarcity of the naira due to the CBN’s currency redesign policy, which has resulted in a shortage of banknotes. The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that the old N1,000, N500, and N200 banknotes were still valid. However, President Muhammadu Buhari recently extended the usage of the N200 notes until April 10, 2023, rendering others as non-legal tenders.
The move has caused uproar among some governors, particularly those of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who argue that the old banknotes should still be used in their states. Nonetheless, Kalu stated that the cash crunch would not affect the chances of the APC in the upcoming presidential election.
The former Abia State governor believes that the President should have obeyed the Supreme Court’s ruling on the naira notes. He remarked, “This is why, if I were the President, as I have told you before, I would listen to the Supreme Court judgement. The Supreme Court, to me, whether they are right or wrong, the President should obey the law and ask his Attorney General to put a review to the Supreme Court.”
Kalu’s revelation highlights the impact of the currency redesign policy on ordinary Nigerians, including lawmakers. The shortage of banknotes and the limited circulation of certain denominations have made it challenging for individuals and businesses to access cash, resulting in severe economic difficulties.