The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele assured that the Central Bank’s Naira redesign policy will not affect the 2023 General elections adding that the CBN is committed to providing all the needed logistics where necessary, to ensure successful elections.
This was disclosed by the CBN Governor in a meeting with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, seeking support for a hitch-free logistic provision for the 2023 General elections.
The CBN Chief urged that the CBN it would make cash available to transporters during the elections.
CBN’s support: Emefiele noted that the CBN has worked with INEC in the storage of INEC election materials and also providing FX to acquire elections equipment, he said:
- “Before now, we have been involved in the storage of INEC election materials and his involvement in using our armoured bullion vans to transport election materials.
- “We are happy that in the course of this relationship, we have not disappointed you and that is the reason you have come again this time.
- “Now, just aside from the issue of storage of election materials together with transportation of election materials from CBN locations to your own specific or designated locations, I know that just a few months ago, I visited your office.
- “You raised the issue of how foreign exchange can be procured for you to import Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and other forms of election material that need to be imported and I gave you my word that foreign exchange will be provided for that purpose,”
Cash commitment: He also added that the CBN would honour cash commitments to INEC needed for the logistics of operating elections stating the CBN.
- “I stand here to confirm that as of today, all foreign exchange needed to import those items has been provided and those items have been imported. So, it’s all part of our commitment.
- “Now this issue of paying logistics for people who are going to be transporting election materials to wards, certainly I give it to you that because we regarded the INEC project as an urgent national assignment, it cannot fail.
- “The CBN will not allow itself either to be used or to be seen as an agent that frustrated positive outcome of the election.
- “So I give you the commitment that if in this case, after making your electronic payment you require some money to pay transporters, in this case, cash, I give to you that we will make it available.”
The INEC boss Yakubu said that the visit was to seek CBN support toward a hitch-free 2023 general election, especially with the recent naira re-design policy which placed restrictions on cash withdrawal, he said:
- “In line with the provisions of extant laws and regulations, service providers are generally paid by means of electronic transfer to their accounts.
- “However, there are equally critical areas such as transportation and human support services that have to be immediately remunerated either partially or in full before services are rendered.
- “In addition, emergency situations may arise requiring immediate cash payments. Some of the critical service providers are unbanked.
“Over the years, we have worked with the CBN and commercial banks to pay for such services seamlessly during general elections as well as off-cycle and bye-election.”