The Office of the National Security Adviser has expressed fears that recent policies introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria may frustrate military operations, if not properly executed, as it will become difficult to pay officers on the battlefields.
The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), made this known while appearing before the House Ad Hoc Committee on the CBN’s Cashless Policy and to Extend the Timeframe of the Currency Swap in Abuja on Thursday.
The NSA who was represented by Rear Admiral Abubakar Mustapha stated that due to the “sensitivity of some of this information that will come out, bordering on security,” he would not want to divulge some details before the press.
Mustapha noted that he is a director in charge of an ONSA secretariat that conducts general security appraisal of elections and other security situations and exigencies in the office.
He also apologised to the committee “on behalf of my boss who is unavoidably absent.” He noted that Monguno was out of the country “on a very special meeting” and he was directed to represent the NSA.
Mustapha added, “But that being said, globally, military operations, even in the First World countries, such policies, if not properly thought out will affect some certain things where some of our soldiers are deployed to; in places where they cannot actually access digital means of paying for their daily subsistence, one of the main issues that the NSA has been talking about. It is important that this committee sits and articulate better ways of actually addressing these issues. He has directed a committee to write out his position to assist the (House) committee on its mandate.”
Majority Leader of the House and chairman of the committee, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, consequently asked that journalists and aides leave the Conference Room 301 venue of the meeting, while the closed-door meeting lasted about 20 minutes.
The committee invited the Director of Currency Operations, CBN, Ahmed Umar, over the revelations made by the Office of the NSA to the panel at its continued investigative hearing.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu; and the Managing Director, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, Ahmed Halilu, who were to also appear before the committee on Thursday failed to show up.
Ado-Doguwa, who informed members that Ahmed and Halilu wrote the panel to seek rescheduling of their appearance, said they had been re-invited for 11am on Friday (today).
The committee had last week grilled the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, over the crisis caused by the redesign of some naira notes and the exchange of old naira notes with new ones by the populace.
The naira policy has attracted wide criticisms, especially due to scarcity of the new notes and its introduction close to the 2023 general election.
Since then, Yakubu had met with the NSA and Emefiele over the matter.
Emefiele and Yakubu had also met with President Muhammadu Buhari, on the crisis.Follow us on social media