The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reacted to the controversy trailing the planned redesigning of some naira denominations after the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmad, claimed she was not informed of the development.
CBN Says Naira Redesign Was Approved By Buhari
On Friday, Ahmed revealed that she wasn’t aware of the CBN’s plans to redesign Nigeria’s currency from N200 naira denomination to 1,000 naira notes from December 15.
Ahmed said the CBN did not consult her ministry before taking the decision to redesign naira notes, stressing that she only heard of it from the media, warning the apex bank of its dire consequences.
Reacting in a statement by its spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN said it was not obliged to consult the Finance Minister before the redesign of the naira notes, according to its Act.
He said the management of the CBN had duly sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari in writing, to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes.
Nwanisobi added that the currency management in the country had faced several escalating challenges which threatened the integrity of the currency, the CBN, and the country
He reminded the Minister that “every top-rate Central Bank was committed to safeguarding the integrity of the local legal tender, the efficiency of its supply, as well as its efficacy in the conduct of monetary policy”.
On the timing of the redesign project, Nwanisobi explained that the CBN had “tarried for too long considering that it had to wait 20 years to carry out a redesign, whereas the standard practice globally was for central banks to redesign, produce and circulate new local legal tender every five to eight years”.
He urged all Nigerians to support the currency redesign project, stressing that “it was in the overall interest of Nigerians”.
Nwanisobi stressed: “Some persons were hoarding significant sums of banknotes outside the vaults of commercial banks. This trend should not be encouraged by anyone who means well for the country”.
The CBN spokesman assured Nigerians that “the currency redesign exercise was purely a central banking exercise and not targeted at any group”.
He expressed optimism “the effort will, among other goals, deepen Nigeria’s push to entrench a cashless economy in the face of increased minting of the eNaira”.
This, he said, is in addition “to helping to curb the incidents of terrorism and kidnapping due to access of persons to the large volume of money outside the banking system used as a source of funds for ransom payments”.
Nwanisobi urged Nigerians to support the Naira redesign project, as it is for the greater good of the economy.
He insisted the CBN in redesigning three series of the naira, “followed the law and due process to carry out the exercise, which is 12 years due”.
According to Nwanisobi: “The CBN remains a very thorough institution that follows due process in its policy actions. The Management of the CBN, in line with provisions of section 2(b), section 18(a), and section 19(a)(b) of the CBN Act 2007, had duly sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari in writing to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes.
KanyiDaily had also reported that the CBN and the Nigerian Army had opposed a suit to remove Arabic inscriptions from naira notes and logos.