The federal government of Nigeria, under the administration of General Muhamadu Buhari, has called for the change of Nigeria’s most important currency, which are the 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes.
This article is to tell you what the newspapers are too scared to admit. And the truth is that you can spin this topic however you want, but there is only ONE reason why Nigeria’s federal government has decided to change the currency.
However, the changing of the currency is not a big deal; it is the timing of such a change that reveals the true intention.
President Buhari ascended the throne as president of Nigeria in the year 2015, and by 2023, he would have finished his maximum of two terms. Nigeria will hold a presidential election in February of 2023, and the president has decided that old notes of the Naira need to be returned to the banks, and every citizen has until January 21st, 2023, to make this adjustment and return all their cash back to the banks.
President Buhari, no matter what you might think of him, does not want interference, even from his own political party, in the 2023 election.
Nigeria is a poor country, and people are enticed with a dollar equivalent of less than $5 to vote for a political candidate. The effect of this nonsensical behavior is that the poor masses, who will take peanuts, get to decide the fate of the rest of us. You must remember that this is a democracy, and this is indeed one of the biggest flaws of the system.
The political class knows that they can always buy their way into office when the election draws near, and this has greatly affected the quality of people that we now appoint into positions of leadership.
The result of repeatedly appointing poor-quality people is to blame for the current economic hardships that Nigerians are experiencing. When a politician buys his way into a position of authority, surely he will steal the state blind in order to make back the money he has spent.
I won’t go into detail, but a quick search will turn up instances of vote buying and voter inducement. There are also videos where people go about with cash and buy off the voter cards of poor Nigerians who are too poor and hungry to know any better.
But President Buhari hasn’t just come out to go hard on a policy that will affect his own party the most. The outcome of his party’s primary election suggests he was dissatisfied with the outcome. While he clearly stayed away and refused to endorse anyone to become the party’s flagbearer, his body language has suggested that the primary election was not allowed to follow its natural course and that the election was heavily influenced by money. This left the president helpless and definitely caused a lot of infighting where certain members of the party who lost the primary election have distanced themselves from the party’s campaign.
The real reason why the president ordered the currency change
As Nigeria heads into another election in February 2023, politicians who have been hoarding huge piles of cash in all manner of places are gearing up to use the cash to buy votes. Some of this money has been sitting around in the safes for over a decade, and election day is the time they intend to bring out all the cash.
Buhari, aware that if politicians freely distribute cash, Nigerians will be denied the opportunity to elect the leader of their choice, decided to mop up the cash circulation.
But he knows that the politicians don’t like to carry too much cash around. They will store their money in higher currencies. This informed his decision to change only the three highest denominations in the country. Politicians were now forced to deposit all of their cash in the banking system, but the other trick is that once the money was in, the president limited the amount of money that could be taken out.
Now, I think the politicians will always find their way, but without a doubt, this new currency change will make it a bit difficult for them.
So, the reason why Nigeria wants to change its money is to prevent politicians from buying votes with cash in the February 2023 elections.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.
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