The days are painful in Nigeria. Bankers are butts of attacks, now clambering down over their fences, instead of front doors to leave their banking halls. And the explanations from the Federal Government border on the bizzare. Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed has put the blame for the cash and fuel scarcities that began last week at the doorstep of political parties that got a court order yesterday (Monday) restraining the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from extending the currency swap deadline.
Lai’s curious explanations are coming as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) ordered its members in a letter dated 6th of February, 2023 to withdraw their services.
The marketers are unhappy that they are being forced to sell fuel at a loss by the authorities, while sourcing of the premium motor spirit (petrol) is difficult.
On Tuesday in Abuja, Lai Mohammed accused some opposition parties of using the courts to tie President Muhammadu Buhari hands from providing relief for Nigerians suffering agonies of cash crunch resulting from naira redesign.
In a Zenith Bank branch in Delta State, staff used a ladder on the back wall of their fence to flee from angry customers waiting in front.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed levelled the accusation at the 23rd edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s (PMB) administration scorecard series (2015-2023).
Mohammed said the Federal Government was mindful of the inconveniences being endured by citizens as a result of the redesigning of the naira notes and fuel supply disruptions.
He said government was working assiduously to restore normalcy to the two critical enablers of economic activities and would take added measures, where necessary, to alleviate the pains of Nigerians.
The minister recalled that after a meeting with governors of his All Progressives Congress (APC), the president urged Nigerians to give him a seven-day window to resolve hiccups in the implementation of the new naira scheme.
Mohammed said it was surprising that some opposition political parties ran to court to obtain an injunction restraining the president and the CBN from extending the Feb. 10 deadline for Nigerians to exchange their old notes for new ones.
“The court action came after a number of opposition parties threatened to boycott the 2023 general elections if the deadline was extended.
“These curious actions by the parties concerned is clear evidence that the opposition has turned this whole issue into a political game, preferring to make Nigerians suffer more on the altar of an unconscionable political gamesmanship.
“Or how else can one explain the fact that these unscrupulous opposition parties do not want any action that could reduce the pains being experienced by Nigerians?’’ he queried.
Mohammed said the opposition parties were playing dirty politics by putting their interests over and above the interests of Nigerians.
He said the desperate actions would not save the political parties from losing at the polls because voters had already seen that they were the real enemies of the people.
Mohammed assured that notwithstanding the antics of opposition political parties, government would take decisive steps to bring succour to Nigerians in the shortest possible time.