The Special Adviser to President Muhammdu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has revealed that the Naira scarcity made him survive on N20,000 for a week.
Adesina, who stated this in an article titled ”Living on shoestring budget”, disclosed how he has been surviving despite the new cash scarcity affecting Nigeria following the CBN’s currency redesign.
”We left Abuja on the 23rd of January on a journey that would take us to Bauchi, Senegal, Lagos, Katsina, Jigawa and Kano States. And return on the 31st of January, which was then the terminal date for the key denomination of the naira to be legal tender.
”I didn’t want to be like the unwise cripple who had been told that war was approaching but remained in the same spot. So I parked every dime I had to the bank.”
However, after depositing the old notes in the bank, like every other Nigerian, he encountered difficulties in getting access to the new notes.
He wrote: The CBN later secured a ten days extension of the deadline from the President, which has now been further suspended by a Supreme Court ruling. Yet it has not changed the fact that I’ve been spending the sum of N20,000 for a week, and I’m still spending it. Shoestring budget. Yes, you are right. That’s what it is.
”Major part of our Duty Tour Allowance, DTA, was paid in old currency, and I deposited it in a bank right in Katsina. I returned to Abuja, Empty. I thought it was just a matter of going to the bank and getting new currency notes. Whosai! Too optimistic.
”I operated with just N6,000 I had in my pocket for three days. By Friday, it had shrunk to N2,500. What a huge war chest.”
Calling his banker to explain his plight to him, Adesina disclosed that ”the banker laughed at him and said the best he could do was to get me N20,000.00 through Automated Teller Machine, which was his own entitlement for the day. Well, beggars can’t be choosers, and I promptly cancelled all my engagements for the weekend. When you stay in your house, making yourself happy and watching football, you need not spend much money, if at all.”
While condemning the attacks on banks due to the Naira scarcity, Adesina advised that the crisis would be over.
He wrote: ”This crisis will pass and all will learn from it if our leaders are magnanimous and pragmatic with the situation at hand. And we will be better for it individually and collectively. We survived the Titanic. We will survive anything else with God on our side.”