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Naira scarcity affecting military operations – NSA

Babagana Monguno, national security adviser (NSA), says soldiers serving without access to digital payment services will be negatively affected by the naira redesign policy.

Babagana spoke on Thursday when he appeared before the house of representatives ad hoc committee on the currency redesign and naira swap policy.

Babagana, who was represented by Abubakar Mustapha, director in the office of the NSA in charge of defence affairs, said there is a need to review the policy which has resulted in the scarcity of the naira notes

The committee, headed by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, invited the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; the Managing Director, Nigerian Security, Minting and Printing Company, Ahmed Halilu; and the Chairman, of Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Professor Mamoud Yakubu as well as the Director of Currency Operations in the CBN to appear before it on Thursday, but the invitees took excuses for their absence.

Monguno said some soldiers are serving in areas where they do not have access to digital transactions.

He said some soldiers are affected by the naira redesign and cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which has resulted in the scarcity of the naira.

Ado-Doguwa, had asked the NSA to brief the lawmakers on how the CBN policies are affecting the security apparatus.

“It is the belief of this committee that the policy would have in one way or the other certain implications to the security apparatus or security architecture of the country, especially when we are facing elections,” Doguwa said.

“In this guise, we will expect you to let the committee know what you guys are into, the level of your preparedness in terms of being proactive as to how this policy could not be able to affect some of your statutory mandates,” he added.

The NSA said the policy has affected soldiers who are deployed in areas where they do not have access to “digital means of paying for their daily subsistence”.

“Globally, military operations, even in first world countries, such policies, if not properly well thought out will affect some certain—some of our soldiers are deployed in places where they cannot actually access digital means of paying for their daily subsistence,” he said.

“One of the main issues that NSA has been talking about—it is important that this committee sits down and articulates better ways of actually addressing these issues. He has directed a committee in his office to write out his position to assist the committee meet his mandate.”

After the NSA’s remarks, the committee got into a closed-door session, as it said most of the information was sensitive.


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