The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, says President Muhammadu Buhari is not happy over the difficulties citizens are facing in getting the new Naira notes. Ahmed fielded questions from State House correspondents while featuring in the 65th edition of State House briefing on Thursday in Abuja.Buhari had on Jan. 29, approved extension of the ongoing currency swap by 10 days, moving the deadline from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10.
The minister said that the Federal Government was concerned about the plight of the citizens on the currency swap, adding that the situation would not persist.“Of course, we are worried; we are not that happy that citizens have to queue and struggle at bank ATM to be able to get their cash but this is a temporary solution.“Let me just give you an analogy; if you have a wound, for your to be able to heal that wound, it needs to be dressed; sometimes, when you go to the hospital, they put iodine and it is very painful but it is necessary to that to get the wound to heal.
“So, it is not easy and the president is not happy that the citizens are really suffering; but we are convinced that it is something that needs to be done this time.’’According to her, the CBN has been responsive in terms of providing some extension. She said that the apex bank had also given further explanation that that there was still opportunity for citizens after the closing date as provided for in the CBN Act Section 20 subsection 3.“There is still opportunity for citizens to actually take their old currency to the CBN for redemption; so it is not all over.
“But the positive side of it is that there is a lot of currency that has been mopped up by this operation and it means it has achieved a good level of success.
“The pain it has caused the citizens is regrettable but it is also very transient and the bank is continuing to address it,’’ she said.
Ahmed said that in 2021, the performance of the ministry on its 39 deliverables was 70 per cent.
According to her, 723 MDAs have been enrolled into the IPPIS including educational, security agencies and the Nigerian Police.
Ahmed disclosed that as at November 2022, aggregate Federal Government revenue was N6.5 trillion representing 67.8 per cent of the target set in the budget for 2022.