Less than 48hours after the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele came out to announce plans on redesigning 200, 500, and the 1,000 naira notes, the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed has faulted the move, mainly describing it as ill-timed. Zainab claimed that CBN never consulted her ministry before forging ahead.“We were not consulted,” she said. “It was an announcement that we heard. Part of the reasons that were advocated is that it is one of the ways to mop up the liquidity to manage inflation.“But there are also consequences, we are looking at what the consequences will be. There will be some benefits but there will be some challenges.”
Although the CBN through Spokesman, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi has revealed that the management in line with provisions of section 2(b), section 18(a), and section 19(a)(b) of the CBN Act 2007, had duly sort and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari in written to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of the aforementioned banknotes.
Speaking on the need for the action, the apex bank said currency management in the country had faced several escalating challenges which threatened the integrity of the currency, the CBN, and the country. Nwanisobi further noted 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.
Nwanisobi also explained that the CBN had even 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 assured Nigerians that the currency redesign exercise was purely a central banking exercise and not targeted at any group
The CBN spokesman also expressed optimism that the effort will, among other goals, deepen Nigeria’s push to entrench a cashless economy in the face of increased minting of the eNaira. He added that the initiative will also help to curb acts of terrorism and kidnapping being facilitated by the large volumes of money outside the banking system being used for ransom payments.