President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to redesign the three highest naira denominations.
According to a statement released on Sunday by the president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, he supports the CBN’s decision and is confident that Nigeria will benefit much from it.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, announced last week that the central bank would redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes, as reported by Swagenews.
Mr. Emefiele stated that both the old and new notes would be valid until February when the old notes would cease to be legal money.
He stated that around 80% of Nigerian cash was held outside of bank vaults by criminals, hence the policy.
However, the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, stated that her ministry was not consulted prior to the policy’s announcement and that she believes the policy’s timing is wrong.
She said, “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,”
“We were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by the CBN on the planned naira redesigning and cannot comment on it as regards merits or otherwise.”
Mr. Emefiele stated, in response to the finance minister’s comments, that he had obtained the president’s approval before announcing the policy.
Mr. Shehu said that President Buhari was convinced by the CBN’s arguments that the economy would gain from the reduction in inflation, currency counterfeiting, and surplus cash in circulation.
The spokesperson stated that the president talked in a Hausa radio interview with two journalists, Halilu Getso and Kamaluddeen Shawai, which will appear on Tambari TV on Wednesday morning.
The president stated that he did not consider the three-month transition period for the new currency to be short.
Mr. Buhari was cited as adding,” People with illicit money buried under the soil will have a challenge with this but workers, businesses with legitimate incomes will face no difficulties at all,”