Naira Redesign: What Emefiele Told Council of State – CBN

Naira Redesign: What Emefiele told Council of State – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Saturday said the scarcity of naira notes across the country is not due to a shortage of printing materials at the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC).

A PREMIUM TIMES report Friday said that Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, acknowledged that the shortage of cash in circulation in Nigeria is due to constraints in the capacity to print enough new Naira notes.

Mr Emefiele spoke at the emergency meeting of the National Council of State in Abuja.

But Osita Nwasinobi, spokesperson of the CBN, said in a statement Saturday that the claim is “misleading”.

He said that Mr Emefiele informed the National Council of State that the NSPMC was working to print all naira denominations to accommodate Nigerians’ transaction need.

“We wish to state categorically that at no time did the CBN Governor disclose this during his presentation to the National Council of State at its meeting on Friday, February 10, 2023,” the CBN said.

“For the records, what Mr. Emefiele told the meeting that the NSPMC was working on printing all denominations of the Naira to meet the transaction needs of Nigerians.”

The statement said the apex bank “appreciates the concerns shown by Nigerians and other key institutions about the distribution of the Naira”. It added that the bank is “alarmed at the extent to which vested interests are attempting to manipulate facts and pitch the public against the bank.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN remains committed to performing its monetary policy functions, as stipulated in the CBN Act, 2007, as amended,” the statement said.

“We also wish to restate that the NSPMC has the capacity and enough materials to produce the required indent of the Naira.”

The bank also claimed that there is a misleading voice note trending in social media alleging that the CBN planned to shut down some banks, particularly in a particular geo-political region of the country.

“We wish to state unequivocally that there is no such plan and that the claims are illogical and do not comply with the workings of the Nigerian banking system.

“The public is therefore advised to ignore such recordings as they do not represent the policy thrust of the CBN and are only the desperate attempts of persons bent on inciting the public against the Bank,” the statement said.

Scarcity

Parts of Nigeria have descended into chaos as frustrated Nigerians beseiged ATM units in a bit to access to their own money since the CBN policy took effect.

Violent protests have been recorded in parts of the country, including in Ogun, Oyo and Akwa Ibom in the country’s south, and the social media is awash with lamentations of suffering Nigerians, who are not able to access their funds for transactions.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday left Nigerians confused as he kept mum a day he promised to address citizens on the severe cash crunch hurting economic activities in the country.

The extended deadline to phase out the old notes was Friday 10 February. However, the Supreme Court gave a order restraining the CBN from enforcing the deadline for the phasing out of the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, pending the hearing of a lawsuit brought by three northern states challenging the new currency redesign.

It adjourned that hearing until 15 February.

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