The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has maintained that it followed the law and due process in the ongoing Naira notes redesigning exercise, which it said was 12 years due, and had sought the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.
This comes after the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmad, said that her ministry was not carried along by the CBN in the exercise.
The Bank’s spokesman, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, in a note sent to the media on Saturday, expressed surprise at the Minister’s claim, stressing that the CBN remains a very thorough institution that follows due process in its policy actions.
The statement read, “The Management of the CBN, in line with provisions of section 2(b), section 18(a), and section 19(a)(b) of the CBN Act 2007, had duly sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari in writing to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes.”
He urged Nigerians to support the currency redesign project, which he said was in the overall interest of Nigerians.
Nwanisobi reiterated that some persons were hoarding significant sums of banknotes outside the vaults of commercial banks.
This trend, he said, should not be encouraged by anyone who means well for the country.
On the timing of the redesign project, Mr. Nwanisobi 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.
While assuring Nigerians that the currency redesign exercise was purely a central banking exercise and not targeted at any group, the CBN spokesman 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.