The Federal government has said the pains being experienced by Nigerians in their bid to swap the old naira for the re-designed ones is regrettable and transient but necessary for the growth of the nation’s economy.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed made the remarks yesterday at the weekly ministerial briefing that was organised by the presidential communication team at the Presidential Villa.
According to her, the government is worried and not happy that people have to queue to get cash.
She said: “Of course, we are worried. We are not happy that citizens have to queue and struggle at ATMs to be able to get their cash. But this is a temporary situation. Let me just give you an analogy. If you have a wound, for you to be able to heal that wound, you need to be dressed.
“And sometimes, when you go to the hospital, they put iodine on the wound and it is very painful. It is necessary to do that to be able to get the wound to heal.
“So, it’s not easy. Mr. President is not happy that citizens are suffering. But we are convinced that it is something that needs to be done at this time and also the Central Bank has been responsive in terms of providing some extension and also further explanation that come the closing date, that it is not all over.
“There is still opportunity for citizens as provided for in the CBN Act, Section 20 subsection 3 to actually take the old currency to the Central Bank for redemption. So, it’s 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, but the only sore point is the pain that it has caused to citizens which is regrettable, but which is also very transient and temporary and the bank is continuing to address it.”