Former President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed the reasons behind his approval of the controversial naira redesign policy.
It would be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations in October 2022.
The CBN also set a certain deadline for the legal tender status of the old denominations to exist in the country.
The Supreme Court, in March, extended the validity of the old naira notes till December 31.
The apex bank recently declared that the old naira notes will remain legal tender indefinitely.
However, Buhari, in an interview with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), said he endorsed the naira redesign policy in the twilight of his administration to protect his integrity and to show Nigerians there was no shortcut to success.
The former president said: “Whether Nigerians believe it or not, we are an underdeveloped country. And in that sort of situation, there’s materialism and sometimes ruthlessly they didn’t care how they made the money.
“I still feel that the only way I could deprive these people was just to make sure that my integrity became unquestionable. I think as a developing country we still have a long way to go.
“The motivation (for the policy) was to try and make Nigerians believe that there is no shortcut to successful leadership.”
Buhari added that technology helped him to win the 2015 presidential election after previous futile attempts, saying: “Instead of people expressing sympathy, people laughed at me because I didn’t have money, because I couldn’t buy influence in any form, either from influential people or others. And I said ‘God dey’. And he sent the Permanent Voter Card (PVC). Meaning you now have only one vote.”