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Buhari Shocks Finance Minister, Backs Emefiele on Naira Redesign

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch new designs and replace high value naira notes had his support and approval, Leadership reports.

President Buhari said he was convinced that the nation would gain a lot by redesigning the naira.

This would come as a shock to the minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed who had told Senate committee on Finance last week that she and the ministry were not consulted by the CBN.

Ahmed on Friday said the CBN did not consult her ministry before taking the decision to redesign naira notes by December.

Ahmed, said even though one of the reasons for the decision was to manage inflation, consequences were sure to follow.

“We were not consulted,” she said. “It was an announcement that we heard. Part of the reasons that was advocated is that it is one of the ways to mop up the liquidity to manage inflation.

“But there are also consequences – we are looking at what the consequences will be. There will be some benefits but there will be some challenges.

“And I don’t know whether the monetary authorities have actually looked very closely at what the consequences and how they will mitigate it.”

However, speaking in a Hausa radio interview with the famous journalist Halilu Ahmed Getso, and Kamaluddeen Sani Shawai to be aired Wednesday Morning on Tambari TV on Nilesat, President Buhari in a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said reasons given to him by the CBN convinced him that the economy stood to benefit from reduction in inflation, currency counterfeiting and the excess cash in circulation.

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

“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.

And following calls by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign the naira could have dire consequences on its value, Ethnic Youth Leaders have called on the apex bank to ignore the ministers’ assertion.

According to them, the CBN should go ahead with its decision to launch the new notes in December.

The group who made the call in a statement by its convener Comrade Meliga, described the Minister’s statement as reckless and a plot to undermine President Muhammadu Buhari.

The group insisted that the decision to redesign the naira is a welcome development as it was a way to withdraw currency from circulation, and also a way to tighten money supply in the face of rising inflation.

The group therefore urged finance minister to apologise to Buhari and CBN over reckless attack on the new naira note.

The statement reads, “The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on Friday declared that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not carry her ministry along in its plan to redesign and roll out new N200, N500 and N1000 notes effective December 15, announced last Wednesday.

“We are of the view that CBN doesn’t need to notify her ministry, in line with the law. The decision to replace some naira denominations with new ones would be positive for the economy in the medium- to long-term.

The Finance minister need to quickly tender a public apology to Buhari, CBN over reckless attack on New naira note.

The CBN, had last Wednesday, announced plans to redesign and reissue the N1000, N500 and N200 currency denominations, in an effort to rein in inflation and take control of money supply in the country.

CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, who’d made this known also said the current naira notes will no longer be legal tender from January 31, 2023.

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