Finance  Minister  rejects CBN naira redesign

The Minister of Finance , Budget and National Planning , Zainab Ahmed , has  rejected new proposal by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign naira warning the apex bank of its consequences on the economy.

The CBN Governor , Godwin Emefiele  had on Wednesday  said that the apex bank would redesign the country’s currency from N200 denomination to N1,000 notes.

The Minister made her reaction public on the policy in response to question raised by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele  during 2023 budget defence session she had with  the Senate Committee on Finance  and warned the CBN of consequences that may arise from it .

Senator Bamidele had in his question , told the Finance Minister that barely two days after announcement of the policy by CBN , repercussion of it on the value of Naira to US dollar was being felt .

“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 stashed naira notes for foreign currencies , particularly 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 “, he said .

Responding to the question, the Minister said the Ministry is not aware of the policy but only heard of it from the media .

“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 value of 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 “, she said .

The CBN Governor while speaking on the policy Wednesday  had 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.

The planned policy he added , was  in line with Sections 19, Subsections a and b of the CBN Act 2007, upon which the Management of the CBN sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, and circulate new series of banknotes at N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *