The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of cash to pay for logistics in unbanked areas during the next general elections despite the country’s lack of naira notes.

Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC, visited CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday to make a request for more funds above the recently imposed withdrawal limit to pay for logistics in unbanked areas.

“There are equally critical areas such as transportation and human support services that have to be immediately remunerated either partially or in full before services are rendered. In addition, emergency situations may arise requiring immediate cash payments. Some of the critical service providers are unbanked,” he said.

In response, Mr. Emefiele vowed to continue giving INEC the assistance it had in the past.

He declared that the CBN will not permit itself to be used or seen of as a saboteur of a successful election outcome.

“The assurance I give to you is that we will make it (cash) available,” he said. “So it is nothing to worry about, and I am happy that you have come here. I will make sure that we will not fail, but we will not make ourselves – the CBN – to be seen as an agent that frustrated the positive outcome of the election.”

Nigerians who want cash have been in extreme hardship for more than a week due to a shortage. This is due to the CBN’s attempt to eliminate outdated naira notes and bring newly designed N200, N500, and N1000 notes into the market.

Even though the CBN asserts that it has distributed the new banknotes to commercial banks, Nigerians who require the currency have trouble getting cash withdrawals for transactions.

Nigeria’s anti-graft organizations, notably the EFCC and ICPC, have reported the arrests of people and bank employees who were hoarding the money.

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