Barely 24 hours after advising President Muhammadu Buhari against going ahead with his scheduled one-day visit to Kano State today, Governor Umar Ganduje has made a U-turn, saying the state was now ready to receive the nation’s number one citizen Briefing newsmen after leading a delegation to meet the President in Daura, Katsina State on Sunday, the governor said: “We are very much ready to receive him and we have a lot for him to commission including Federal Government projects and state government projects. They are state-of-the-art projects.”
The governor, however, pointed out that 24 local government areas in the state have no banks where the people could swap their old notes revealing that financial institutions operate mainly in the Kano metropolis. Ganduje, had in an interactive session with critical stakeholders including scholars, legislators, political leaders and the business community in the state, revealed that his government had requested the President to postpone the trip, saying that the state was deeply concerned about the hardship principally induced by the ongoing cash swap from old to redesigned notes. He said the decision was taken to avoid any unforeseen circumstance. Consequently, the state government wrote a letter to the president outlining the reasons why the planned visit was no longer auspicious at this time.
He told them that the Presidency acknowledged receipt of the letter. Regardless of the state’s request for the President to postpone the visit, a dependable source in the Presidency had disclosed that the President had made up his mind not to shelve the scheduled of-ficial visit to commission Federal Government’s projects in the state Ganduje, during his interaction with the media yesterday, affirmed that he led the delegation to Daura concerning the vexatious issue of currency swap. He said: “Seeing is believing. You can see that I have led a powerful delegation from Kano State on the issue of new naira notes and we have seen Mr. President.
We have laid the complaints of the Kano people and we are very happy. “He explained to us and also he assured us that the time is extended and the quantity of new naira (notes) will increase so that the suffering of the people will be reduced. “We informed him that Kano is the most populous state in the federation and also the commercial nerve centre of the northern part of Nigeria, second to Lagos. “But in terms of cash transactions, Kano is much higher than Lagos because Lagos has gone far in terms of cashless society, cashless transactions. But Kano State, being a comparatively rural state, so to say, still has 24 local governments without banks. Most of the banks are concentrated within the Kano metropolis. “So, you can imagine the suffering of the rural areas, rural people in terms of cash transactions. But we are happy that the time has been extended and also the quantum of the naira notes will be increased. So, we are so grateful to the President for effort.”