Governor Zulum Decries Non Circulation of New Naira Notes in Borno
By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state has on Friday decried non lack -availability and circulation of the redesigned Naira notes in the state, especially hard to rich local government areas and communities due to Boko Haram insurgency.
Governor Babagana Zulum who disclosed this when members of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) and committee on implementation, usage and level of compliance of the redesigned new naira notes paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Maiduguri on Friday said only three local government areas in the state that banks are operating .
Governor Zulum said out of the 27 local government areas, only three, local government areas which includes Maiduguri, Jere and Biu have a functional banks, while the remaining ones have been without banks for the past decades, in addition to destructions of telecommunication facilities and financial institutions perpetrated by insurgents.
” Borno State Government is really in support of the CBN policy in redesigned new Naira notes, as it will have a long run positive effect on Nigerians, but sincerely speaking, all the infrastructures needed to implement this new CBN’s policy are not in existence in many communities of Borno”, Zulum said.
The Governor said “as it is, out of the 27 local government areas, only three, made up of Maiduguri, Jere and Biu have a functional banks, while the remaining ones have been without banks for the past decades, in addition to destructions of telecommunication facilities and financial institutions perpetrated by insurgents.”
He further said “If as governor, i do not possess the new Naira notes currently, what of a poor person in the village or on the streets?. Just last week, the Borno state government under my leadership has approved the release of the sum of N800 million to cushion the hardship faced by our repentant Boko Haram Terrorists, so how do CBN expect these repentant terrorists who are still under the custody of our security operatives come out to exchange their old naira notes or open an account with commercial banks.”
“Secondly, it is disheartening to inform you that there is no vehicle that had access to Kala- Balge local government area for the past seven (7) months due to the terrain and insecurity. There are thousands of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Kala- Balge who are currently faced with hunger. This is because, they only travel about 16kms by canoe to buy food items from neighbouring communities of Cameroon Republic, unfortunately, i was told last week that these traumatized people could no longer buy food items from neighbouring Cameroon communities who are largely rejecting the old naira notes”, he added.
He further explained that “go to Kukawa local government area, or Baga, Banki and even some parts of peaceful Southern Borno senatorial district, there are still pockets of insurgents, but i assure you that Borno state government will provide security cover to you people if you are ready to take the new naira notes in exchange with the old notes to ensure that our people are not shortchanged by this policy”. Zulum said.
Zulum however lamented that “even in Monguno where we have over 700,000 IDPs, the Information and Communication Technology, ICT is totally not available, so how can this be possible? I believe as government, we set up a policy to benefit mankind or ease the hardship of the generality of the people, but in this situation, the reverse is the case, especially to Borno and Yobe states which is now coming out from its decades insecurity.”
Earlier speaking, the Director statistics of the CBN Mohammed Tumala said, the CBN directed all its Directors to go round their states assess the challenges associated with the usage of the new currency with a view to resolving them.
“We are in Borno to ensure level of compliance by commercial banks and its customers for dispatching the new naira notes, and withholding of the old currency in circulation. As the sons and daughters of the soil, we are in the state for two mandates which include; to ensure the new naira notes are in circulation in Nigeria, especially in hinterlands and rural communities ahead of the 31st January 2023 dateline for the old currency seize to be a legal tender, as well as ascertained banks and other financial institutions are fully complying with disbursement of the redesigned new naira notes by making them available in ATMs among other channels, Tumala added.
“We have been on ground monitoring the development, as we appeal to the State Government to provide adequate security cover for our Team as we visit communities”. Said the delegation leader..