President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said the decision Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch new designs and replace high value naira notes has his support and he is convinced that the nation will benefit greatly from it.
Speaking in a radio house interview with renowned journalist Ahmed Getza and Kamaluddin Shawai which will be broadcast Wednesday morning on Tambari TV on Nilesat, the President said the reasons given by the CBN convinced him that the economy would benefit from lower inflation, fake currency and surplus cash in circulation.
He said that he does not consider the three-month period for switching to new bills to be short.
“People with illegal money buried underground will have problems with it, but workers, businesses with legitimate income will not face any difficulties at all.”
In the interview, the President touched upon, among other things, the issues of food and national security.
The clarification follows an earlier comment by Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmad that she was not consulted before the new policy was announced.
The minister made the comment in response to a question posed by Opeyemi Bamidele, the senator representing APC Ekiti Central Constituency, during the 2023 budget defense session with the Senate Committee on Finance, where he warned the CBN of the consequences that could arise.
In her reply, the minister said that she and her ministry were not aware of the policy but had only heard about it from the media.
According to the minister, “The CBN has not consulted us at the Ministry of Finance on the planned redesign of the naira and cannot comment on the merits or otherwise.
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“However, as a Nigerian who has the privilege of being at the apex of Nigeria’s fiscal governance, the policies being pursued at this time portend serious consequences for the value of the naira against other foreign currencies.
“I will, however, appeal to this committee to invite the CBN Governor for the necessary clarifications on the merits of the planned policy and the propriety or otherwise of its implementation now,” she said.
Bamidele, in his question, told the finance minister that just two days after the announcement of the CBN policy, its effects on the value of the naira against the US dollar were being felt.
“Just two days after the announcement of the policy, the naira depreciated from N740 to N788 to the US dollar due to frenetic exchange of naira notes for foreign currency, especially the dollar.
“To me, the policy may be well thought out but the timing based on the ground reality is wrong as the naira may fall by 1000 AD. per USD by January 31, 2023, scheduled for full implementation. politicians,” he said.