Finance minister disowns policy of redesigning naira, disagrees with CBN

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Barely two days after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the redesigning of the Naira billed for December 15, 2022, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmad, has disowned the policy

The Minister responding to a question raised by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central) during 2023 budget defence session with the Senate Committee on Finance she warned the CBN of the consequences that may arise from redesigning 200, 500, 1,000 naira notes.

“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 stached Naira Notes for foreign currencies, particularly the dollar,” Bamidele said.

“To me, the policy may be a well conceived one, but the timing going by the 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.”

Surprisingly the Minister in her response said She and her Minister for State are not aware of the policy as they 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 the value of the Naira against 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.”

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had on Wednesday said that the apex bank would redesign the country’s currency from 200 naira denomination to 1,000 naira 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.

Emefiele said the planned policy 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.

 

Source: The Guardian

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