A Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, has faulted the decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to redesign some denominations of the naira notes, saying it would make kidnappers ask for dollars and other foreign currencies as ransom.
One of the arguments in support of the redesign of the naira notes is that it would deny kidnappers who must have collected and kept huge amounts of money as ransom the ability to spend the money.
In a post on his verified Facebook page, Mr Gumi said the decision will also negatively affect several Nigerians because most people depend on cash transactions.
He argued that the country needs a free market-driven economy with little cash flow control.
“As for the question of starving kidnappers of naira, it goes without saying that they will resort to dollars and other hard currencies which will further put more pressure on it making the rotten situation bad-der.
Mr Gumi added that even the decision to ban motorcycle operations, the sale of petrol and the blockage of communication didn’t bring an end to banditry in the North, arguing it only made the populace suffer.
Nigeria is experiencing a kidnap-for-ransom epidemic with thousands of people abducted across the country. The North-west region, where Mr Gumi is based, is perhaps the worst affected with terrorist groups running industrial-scale kidnap-for-ransom franchises.