• Features
  • Updated: February 20, 2023

Terrorism: Between Buhari's Political Will And CBN's Naira Swap Policy

In recent times, terrorism in Nigeria has turned out to be big business judging by the volumes of cash that reportedly get exchanged for the victims of terrorism, leading to concerns about whether it is the approach of stifling cashflows to the terrorists that will check their menace or government's outright resolve for unflinching measures to neutralize terrorist activities.

Past records are replete with evidence about monies in millions of Naira being released into the hands of these criminals to get justice for their victims. 

Defining the Terrorists

Of course, we are concerned here with criminal and state terrorists amongst others.

Criminal terrorists are those who kidnap innocent citizens perceived to be either wealthy or related to someone very wealthy. 

On the other hand, state terrorists are those who disrupt public peace through isolated attacks and violence against state institutions and officials during which ransoms are demanded and paid for.

It should be noted that occasionally, in both cases, the victims still end up being killed despite the ransoms paid out. 

Government's Effort at Checking Terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to redesign the naira, amongst other things, has been adduced as a part of efforts to tame terrorism in Nigeria. 

However, the question is, to what extent can this measure be seen to yield results?

According to an investigative report released by the public policy research group, Nextier, the government's Naira swap policy is unlikely to yield desired results.

The report instead canvassed for a more pertinent government’s political will unflinching and unbiased enough to prosecute already identified terrorists and their sponsors, including those unmasked by foreign partners, like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States of America (U.S.).

Going by the disclosure of this vital information by the duo of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States of America (U.S.), the federal government of Nigeria led by Muhammadu Buhari has not been seen to go after these sponsors and partners.

This is very disheartening.

On November 23, 2022, Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unveiled redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, explaining that individuals and corporate organizations would be restricted to a weekly N100,000 and N500,000 cash withdrawal limit over the counter, respectively.

According to Nextier's weekend report, “The ill-timed and quick-fix policy is a wild goose chase.” 

It says “to mitigate terrorism financing, the government has to take some bold steps, including timely arrest and prosecution of persons indicted for terrorism financing, strengthening collaboration with other countries, such as UAE and U.S., and sanctioning complicit banks which are used to siphon money to terror groups.”

It adds, moreover, “Nigeria should stop politicizing or treating indicted sponsors of terror with kid gloves.

"The UAE, the U.S., and some other countries have demonstrated a willingness to support Nigeria in the war against terrorism financing by availing the country with the names of indicted sponsors.

“Thus, the onus is on Nigeria to follow up on such external intelligence.

CBN and other banking regulatory agencies and institutions should be more diligent in their watchdog roles.

“They should expose and sanction banks, which collude with terrorist groups or their financiers appropriately, in line with extant rules.”


There is no better personality to annihilate terrorism in Nigeria than President Muhammadu Buhari going by his military background and the goodwill he enjoys.

If anything else, the President should seize his last days in office as a perfect time to prove to the whole world that he has what it takes to tame terrorism.

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Eben Duru
Eben Duru

 My name is Eben and I am from Lagos, Nigeria. I am currently a writer at AllNews Nigeria. I’m...

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