How the new naira notes are affecting campaigns in Nigeria

How the new naira notes are affecting campaigns in Nigeria

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) Godwin Emefiele and President Buharie unveiling of the New Naira Note (Photo by Premium Times)

A pre-election report released by YIAGA Africa shows that whereas political parties were observed spending money on voter hospitality and voter inducement activities in 33 states, it was more prevalent in the states of: Abia, Bauchi, Borno, Delta, Katsina, Kano, Niger, Oyo and Sokoto.

The report titled: Will Election Security and Executive Impunity Shape Electoral Outcomes in 2023, reveals that whereas some people are happy to collect money and gifts from political party agents and candidates, there are others who refuse to sell their right to vote.

YIAGA Africa reports that in Kwara state, Baruten LGA, APC agents were said to have allocated and alerted APC party supporters to assemble and come with their details to access state government grants. The same was noticed in Itakudimo, Ilorin west where PDP agents were seen sharing N500 ($1.08779) to residents and passersby to gain support after their meeting. In Oroke Onuoha, Achiaba Ward, Ebonyi LGA/Ebonyi State, supporters of APC were seen distributing food items to citizens while canvassing for votes. In Bunkure LGA of Kano, party supporters were seeing buying PVCs from citizens and giving out N5,000 and fertilizers.

There is also the matter of the Naira redesign and rationing of the amount an individual or group of individuals can access from the commercial banks. And those who will not be able to exchange the old notes before the February 10th 2023 deadline, have been advised to take it to the nearest branch of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) to swap old bank notes with new notes.

There is disappointment within the Nigeria citizenry that whereas the new currency is available for the political parties to use in celebrations, it is not available on the streets for people to spend. The new Naira is really scarce. There are also concerns that whereas the public expectation was that the new Naira would be stronger in its exchange rate with the dollar, it is not the case in reality.