The Federal Government disagreed with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Friday, just 48 hours after he announced that the apex bank would redesign the nation’s currency on December 15, 2022. The nation and its economy would suffer greatly if the redesign was put into place, according to Zainab Ahmad, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, who disowned the policy. During the 2023 budget defense session, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele asked Zainab a question about the policy, and Zainab responded by commenting on it and alerting CBN to potential repercussions.
Senator Bamidele stated in his question to the Finance Minister that the value of the Naira to the US dollar had increased from N740 to N788 just two days after the CBN announced its new policy. He attributed this increase to a rush to exchange starched Naira notes for foreign currencies, particularly the US dollar. To me, the policy may be well-intentioned but the timing, considering the realities on the ground, is very incorrect as the Naira may decline to as low as N1,000 to the US dollar before January 31, 2023, the fixed date for the policy’s full implementation. When asked about the policy, the minister responded that she had only learned about it from the media.
“Distinguished senators,” the speaker said, “we were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by the CBN on the planned Naira redesign and cannot comment on its merits or otherwise.” However, as a Nigerian who has the privilege of overseeing Nigeria’s fiscal management, I am concerned that the policy as it is being implemented now will have a negative impact on the value of the Naira in relation to other foreign currencies. ” However, I’ll make a request to this committee to invite the CBN governor to provide the necessary justification for the planned policy’s merits and the appropriateness or otherwise of its current implementation.”