FG Disowns Emefiele, Rejects Re-Designed Naira Plan

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Naira: Finance minister opposes ’s plan to redesign Naira

Almost Forty Eight hours after the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, declared that the apex bank will redesign the country’s currency on December 15, 2022, the Federal Government disagreed.

Zainab Ahmad, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, who opposed the policy, stated that if followed, the idea will have serious ramifications for the country and its economy.

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However, in response to the finance minister’s inconsistency, a senior CBN official who spoke to this online newspaper on the condition of anonymity claimed the Naira redesigning effort was approved by .

Zainab, who remarked on the idea in answer to a question from Senator Opeyemi Bamidele during the 2023 budget defence debate, warned CBN of the potential implications.

Senator Bamidele, who asked the Finance Minister if the repercussions of the CBN’s policy on the value of the Naira to the US dollar were being felt, said, “Just two days after the policy was announced, the value of the 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 the dollar.”

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“To me, the policy may be well-conceived, but the timing, based on realities on the ground, is very wrong, as the Naira may fall to as low as N1,000 to a US dollar before the policy’s full implementation date of January 31, 2023.”

In response to the query, the Minister stated that she was unaware of the policy and had only learned about it from the media.

“Distinguished senators, we were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by the CBN on the planned Naira redesign and cannot comment on its merits or otherwise,” she added.

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“However, as a Nigerian privileged to be at the helm of Nigeria’s fiscal management, the policy as it is currently implemented portends serious consequences for the value of the Naira in relation to other foreign currencies.”

“I will, however, request that this committee invite the CBN governor to provide the necessary explanations regarding the merits of the proposed policy and the appropriateness or otherwise of its implementation now.”

Remember that CBN Governor Emefiele announced on Wednesday that the central bank would change the country’s currency from 200 Naira notes to N1,000 notes.

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Emefiele stated that the measure was made to seize control of the currency in circulation, claiming that the majority of the country’s currency notes were outside bank vaults and that the CBN would not allow the situation to continue.

According to him, the proposed strategy was in accordance with Sections 19, Subsections a and b of the CBN Act 2007, pursuant to which the CBN sought and secured President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to redesign, create, and circulate new series of banknotes at N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

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