By Wahab Akanji, Lagos
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are collaborating to launch grassroots campaign against abuse of the Naira in the 774 local government areas of the country.The information is contained in a statement issued by the NOA Deputy Director of Press, Mr Fidel Agu, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Agu stated that the move was announced when the NOA Director General, Garba Abari, paid a visit to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to deliberate on proposed Local Government Assembly to communicate government monetary and economic policies to the people.
Abari said there was need for deeper public sensitisation about respect for the Nigerian currency, considering the high rate of abuse of the Naira by Nigerians, especially during social gatherings and in markets.
In addition, he said, the various narratives in the public space concerning the nation’s economic challenges and government policies for tackling them had necessitated an open line of communication between the CBN and NOA.
He added that “The collaboration will also enable NOA to communicate monetary and other economic policies more effectively to the public in accordance with its mandate.
“It will help foster massive citizens’ support for government, especially from the grassroots, which is critical to the success of government policies. The Naira is like our national flag; we need to do the needful to put it in its rightful position.
We can use the local government secretariats and traditional rulers to send the message of attitudinal change toward the Naira. The coming National Ordinance Day on Sept. 16 will be used as another platform to mobilise Nigerians for respect and dignity of our national symbols.”
Emefiele, who was represented by the Director, CBN Governor’s Office, Mr Olori Oghenekaro, described the collaboration as a welcome development that would serve the apex bank’s interest in controlling inflation and stimulation of economic growth.
He explained that the recent monetary policy which increased lending rate from 12 per cent to 14 per cent was a necessary inflation control measure.
He added that “It is also an incentive to attract foreign direct investment to boost the Nigerian economy.”
Oghenekaro observed that Nigerians were largely misinformed about economic policies; hence they needed to be properly sensitised.
The partnership with NOA was imperative, as the Agency had the requisite structure for public enlightenment necessary to enforce economic policies.