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Naira scarcity: I’m on a budget — I’ve been spending N20k for a week, says Femi Adesina

Naira scarcity: I’m on a budget — I’ve been spending N20k for a week, says Femi Adesina
February 10
15:34 2023

Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesperson, says he is also affected by the cash scarcity in the country.

In a Facebook post he titled ‘Living on shoestring budget’ on Thursday, Adesina said he has been constrained to spending N20,000 for a week even though he works for the president.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the naira redesign policy to deter politicians from “mobilising resources to intimidate voters in the 2023 general election”.

However, the implementation has worsened hardship among Nigerians who have found it hard to access new and old naira notes.

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Commenting on the situation, Adesina said “those in government itch as well, and scratch as hard”, adding that the development has turned him into a “miser”.

“Since January 31 was then the terminal date for key denominations of the naira to be legal tender, I didn’t want to be like the unwise cripple, who had been told that war was approaching, but who stayed put in the same spot. So I parked everything I had, every dime, and sent it to the bank. I didn’t want my modest funds to become something fit only for the museum,” he wrote.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) later secured a ten days extension of the deadline from President Muhammadu Buhari, which has now been further extended by a supreme court ruling. But it has not changed the fact that I’ve been spending the sum of N20,000 for one week, and I’m still spending it. Shoestring budget? Yes, you are right. That’s what it is.

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“For three days, I operated with just the N6,000 I had in my pocket. By Friday, it had shrunk to N2, 500.00. What a huge war chest!

“You, a special adviser to president of the most populous country in Africa! Are you for real? Just N2,500.00? Well, those in government itch as well, and scratch as hard. That is what some people don’t know. The hen sweats, but its feathers make the sweat indiscernible. There was I, on a Friday, worth only N2, 500.00 in new notes, both home and abroad.

“I called my banker, told him my plight, and he first laughed as if laughter was going out of fashion. After seeing that I was serious, he said the best he could do was get N20,000.00 for me, through the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), which was his own entitlement for the day. 

“Well, beggars can’t be choosers, and half bread, as they say, is better than none. I sent my driver to collect the money, and promptly cancelled all the engagements I had lined up for the weekend. When you stay in your house, watching football and making yourself happy, you need not spend much money, if at all.”

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