Buhari Drums Support for New Notes, Groups Call for Emefiele Sack

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CEM REPORT, FINANCE | President Muhammadu Buhari has said the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch new designs and replace high-value Naira notes had his support.

He added that he was convinced that the nation will gain a lot by doing so.

Speaking in an Hausa radio interview the presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, according to a release issued on Sunday said reasons given to him by the CBN convinced him that the economy stood to benefit from the reduction in inflation, currency counterfeiting and the excess cash in circulation.

Buhari also said he did not consider the period of three months for the change to the new notes as being short.

According to him: ”People with illicit money buried under the soil will have a challenge with this but workers, businesses with legitimate incomes will face no difficulties at all.”

In the interview, the President also addressed issues of food security and national security, among others.

The interview is to be aired Wednesday Morning on Tambari TV on Nilesat.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has warned that the planned redesign of the three banknotes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stating that it will tumble the value of the naira and further destabilise the economy.

The group has also called for the impeachment of the CBN Governor as President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sack him and put an end to Nigeria’s fiscal woes.

Aligning with the finance minister’s opposition to the plan, HURIWA in the statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, described the plan as a “money-guzzling gambit” that would destabilise the economy.

The group said the CBN Governor had again proved his incompetence through the sham plan best described as motion without movement.

“HURIWA dismisses the redesigning of the naira as a money-guzzling gambit that will tumble the value of the naira to the dollars as seen at the moment already after the argument by the finance minister.

“We call on the National Assembly to stop the CBN governor or impeach him by a 2/3 majority to compel Buhari to sack him.”

Other parts of the statement read; “Nigeria is indeed troubled with a so-disorganised Federal Government to the extent that the finance minister now openly disagrees with the CBN governor over the country’s cardinal fiscal policies! No doubt, this portends danger to the nation’s economy and financial management.

“The discordance and embarrassing public spat between Ahmad and Emefiele demonstrate the lack of national planning and inter-agency and inter-ministerial collaboration of top echelons of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“This is not the first of such disgraceful feuds amongst Buhari’s ministries and agencies. For months now, the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Force have engaged in a protracted dispute over the recruitment of police constables.

“In April 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics took to Twitter to fight dirty with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige for faulting its employment statistics. The examples are endless under Buhari, yet his it-does-not-concern-me pose.”

CEM reported that Nigeria’s apex Bank had on Wednesday, announced its plan to redesign some naira notes.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, while announcing the plan during a press conference noted that the new design notes will be effective from December 2022.

While advising Nigerians to take old notes to banks for the new notes, Emefiele had said the affected new notes would include N200, N500 and N1000.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, warned of “serious consequences on the value of the naira against other foreign currencies” if the nation’s apex Bank went on with the plan to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

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