Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works and housing, has applauded the public outcry by the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying it made others find their voice on the matter.
According to him, Tinubu has the interest of the downtrodden at heart and that is what made him voice out very early against the policy because it was causing hardship to Nigerians.
Fashola, speaking during an interview with Channels Television on Monday, described Tinubu as an “activist” for raising the alarm early adding that it was after the APC flagbearer spoke that some others started speaking against the policy too.
Recall Tinubu had during his campaign in Abeokuta, Ogun State on January 25 alleged that some saboteurs in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari were attempting to use the naira swap policy as well as the fuel scarcity to scuttle his chances at the polls.
Addressing the naira redesign policy, Fashola called for a review of the policy, saying it has brought untold hardship to Nigerians and it is clear it is not achieving the intended result
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“It is the responsibility of public servants, especially those responsible for those policies, to look back and say ‘do we intend to cause this pain?’ And if the policy is not working, perhaps you have to readjust and ask yourself whether you thought this through,” he said.
“As a public servant before and now, I have had cause to revert myself when I saw that my policies were causing unintended results.
“These policies are not yet delivering the results and it is delivering a lot of inconvenience for a lot of people.
“That is why our candidate was the first to speak out about it even though it is his party that is in government and this is consistent with Asiwaju Tinubu’s position as an activist, the fighter of the downtrodden, and champion of the downtrodden.
“It was after he spoke that the others now found their voices. One of them said ‘don’t extend it’. What is he benefiting from contributing to the pain by saying they should not extend it?
“Because it is clearly having consequences that are not intended. One of the consequences that is unintended is pain and inconvenience.”
It would be recalled that the CBN had earlier set a deadline of January 31 to phase out the use of the old naira notes, but it was recently extended to February 10.
The scarcity of the new notes has brought economic challenges to many residents of Nigeria with protests erupting in some parts of the country.