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Naira redesign: Finance Minister tells Senate to demand explanations from CBN governor, warns of consequences



Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed
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Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has urged Senators to demand explanations from the governor of the Central Bank over planned redesignation of naira notes.

The Minister said, she was not aware of the policy, hence, she cannot explain reasons behind the policy by the Central Bank governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele who never consulted her in the first place. push({});

The Minister spoke while reacting to questions by Senator Bamidele Opeyemi when she appeared for the Ministry’s 2023 budget defence at the National Assembly on Friday in Abuja.

The Minister who believed that the policy might be right, but the timing was wrong as a result of the reality of the country, said she read the news in the media that the naira notes would be redesigned.

“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, Godwin Emefiele had on Wednesday said that the apex bank would redesign the country’s currency from 200 Naira denomination to N1,000 notes.

He 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 levels.

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 starched Naira Notes for foreign currencies.

The Minister said: “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 .

“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 privileged Nigerian 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.

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