We were not consulted on the redesign of notes – Minister of Finance

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CEM REPORT, FINANCE | Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has kicked against plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign some naira notes.

She warned that the planned redesign of some naira notes portends some consequences.

Ahmed during her defence of the ministry’s budget before the Senate Committee on Finance also stated that the ministry was not consulted on the redesign but heard about 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 Naira to 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.”

A member of the committee Opeyemi Bamidele expressed concern over the redesign noting that two days after the announcement, the exchange of Naira to a US dollar has risen from N740 to N788 to a US dollar due to a rush in trade of stacked naira notes for foreign currencies, particularly the dollar

The policy may be a well-conceived one but the timing going, by realities on the ground, it’s 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.”

Recall that CEM reported earlier in the week that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the plan to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes and will go into circulation in December and by January 31, 2023, the old notes are expected to be out of circulation.

He said the move is aimed at having control of the currency in circulation, managing inflation, and tackling counterfeiting.

Emefiele further explained that the planned redesign was in line with Sections 19 (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.

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