Finance minister dissociates self from CBN naira redesign plan

Finance minister Zainab Ahmed

Minister of finance, budget and national planning Zainab Ahmed has said that the Central Bank of Nigeria acted alone in its decision to redesign some naira notes.

CBN governor Godwin Emefiele had on Wednesday said that the apex bank would redesign the country’s currency from N200 denomination to N1,000 notes.

He said 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.

Speaking on Friday on the policy in response to a question raised by Senators during the 2023 budget defence session she had with the Senate Committee on Finance, Ahmed warned the CBN of consequences that may arise from the policy.

The Senate had told the minister that barely two days after announcement of the policy by the CBN, the negative effect was already being experienced in the country’s forex.

The lawmakers noted that just two days after announcement of the policy, value of the Naira to a US dollar has dropped from N740 to N788 due to rush in exchange of stashed naira notes for foreign currencies, particularly the dollar.

In response, Ahmed said, “Distinguished Senators, we were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by the 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 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.”