Finance Minister Disagree With CBN Over Naira Redesign
On Wednesday, October 26, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said that the apex bank would redesign Nigeria’s currency from N200 naira denomination to 1,000 naira notes from December 15.
Emefiele said that the action was taken in order to take control of the currency in circulation just as he posited that the bulk of the nation’s currency notes were outside bank vaults and that the CBN would not allow the situation to continue.
He said the planned policy was in line with Sections 19, Subsections a and b of the CBN Act 2007, upon which the apex bank sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, and circulate new series of banknotes at N200, N500, and N1,000 levels.
Reacting to the development, Ahmed said her ministry was not consulted by the CBN, warning that the new policy may have grave consequences on the value of naira to other foreign currencies.
The minister was responding to a question raised by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central) during the 2023 budget defense session with the Senate Committee on Finance, chaired by Senator Solomon Olamilekan.
Senator Bamidele had told the minister that barely two days after the announcement of the CBN’s plan, the effect on the value of the naira to the US dollar was being felt.
He said, “Just two days after announcement of the policy, value of Naira to a US dollar has risen from N740 to N788 to a US dollar due to rush in exchange of starched naira notes for foreign currencies, particularly US dollar.
“To me, the policy may be a well-conceived one, but the timing, going by realities on ground, is very wrong as the naira may fall to as low as N1,000 to a US dollar before January 31, 2023 fixed for full implementation of the policy.”
In her response, the minister said she and her ministry are not aware of the policy as they were not consulted by the CBN, but only heard of it from the media.
Ahmed said, “Distinguished senators, we were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by CBN on the planned naira redesigning and cannot comment on it as regards merits or otherwise.
“However as a Nigerian privileged to be at the top of Nigeria’s fiscal management, the policy as rolled out at this time portends serious consequences on the value of the naira to other foreign currencies.
“I will however appeal to this committee to invite the CBN governor for required explanations as regards merits of the planned policy and rightness or otherwise of its implementation now.”
Kanyi Daily had also reported that the CBN and the Nigerian Army had opposed a suit to remove Arabic inscriptions from naira notes and logos.