Governor Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emiefele has assured that the apex bank won’t allow itself to be used in sabotaging the February/March general elections.
Emiefele spoke Tuesday in Abuja while receiving in audience the Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mahmood Yakubu who led some National Commissioners on a visit to the apex bank.
He said the CBN would make available every cash needed to pay logistics for the success of the elections.
“The CBN will not allow itself to be used as agents to frustrate the forthcoming election which is a positive assignment. If you require cash to pay some of your service providers, we will make it available to you. We will not allow ourselves to be seen as agents that frustrate a genuine assignment,” Emefiele said.
Earlier, Professor Yakubu had called on the CBN governor to help the commission in the areas requiring cash for payment of services vital to the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu listed the major areas of concern to include transportation and human support services that needed to be immediately remunerated either partially or in full before services are rendered.
Other areas as highlighted by the INEC boss included emergency situations that may arise requiring immediate cash payments, as some of the critical service providers are unbanked.
The INEC boss told the CBN helmsman the 2023 polls would rank best in Nigeria’s history, despite concerns raised in some quarters about the processes leading to the polls.
Yakubu also said while the Commission had transferred all its accounts at the state and national level to the apex bank, some of the services being rendered to the Commission needed to be paid for in cash.
He told the CBN governor that over the years, the commission had worked with the CBN and commercial banks to pay for such services seamlessly during general elections as well as off-cycle and bye-elections.
He also stated that over the years, the Commission had also migrated all its accounts at national and state levels to the CBN and this arrangement had worked without encumbrances to our activities.
He said: “Nigerian election is a huge and complex undertaking. It requires the engagement of critical services. 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-elections. Over the years, the commission has also migrated all its accounts at National and State levels to the CBN and this arrangement has worked without encumbrances to our activities.
“In view of the recent policy involving the redesign of some denominations of our national currency, and the limits placed on cash withdrawals, we consider this meeting important in addressing some of the areas of concern with just 17 days to the 2023 General Election.
“We are confident that arising from this meeting, we can assuage the anxiety expressed by some of our service providers. We are determined to make the 2023 general election one of the best organised elections in Nigeria but we cannot do it alone. That is why the Commission is mobilising every critical national institution for the success of the election. This meeting is part of this effort.”
Buhari meets govs, CBN, NSA bosses
In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari held a meeting with representatives of the state governors and the CBN governor Tuesday in Abuja.
Representing the governors were Chairman Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Sokoto state Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and Kebbi state counterpart, Atiku Bagudu in this capacity as chairman Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF).
Also in attendance was the chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa.
No statement was issued as at the time of tis report, it’s however gathered that the meeting was summoned to chart a way out of the cash crunch occasioned by the naira redesign.
During INEC boss’ visit to the National Security Adviser Mohammed Babagana Monguno, he assured that in collaboration with other security agencies, adequate security would be provided during and after the elections.