”Purpose Of Embarking on Redesigned New Naira Notes, Yielding Results’’- Emefiele

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By Lateef Adegbite

 Godwin Emefiele, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, who has been under severe attack from several quarters, including the National Assembly over the redesigning of the big naira Notes: N200, N500 and N1000, says the purpose for the monetary policy has started yielding results.  

 Besides redesigning the N200, N500 and N100 Notes, the apex bank had set   a withdrawal limit of N500,000.00 for Individuals and N5 million, for Corporate Organisations as well as setting a January 31, 2023,  deadline  for swapping the old naira Notes to the new Notes.

  An elated Emefiele , who had met with President Muhammadu Buhari, in his country home at Daura, Katsina state, on Sunday, January 29, 2023,  had told Journalists ,that 75% of the N2.7 trillion  held outside  the banking system  has been recovered.

President Muhammadu Buhari : Gave Approval For Seven Days Grace Period For Nigerians To Exchange Their Old Naira Notes For New Ones

The CBN, governor , who had repeatedly  had said that   there  is no reason  for the nation’s currency in circulation  to rise from  N1.4 trillion to N3.2 trillion  in seven years, had made Nigerians to understand that people   are hoarding   the naira  in their bank vaults  which they had built at home.

  He had said that due to the economic sabotage the official exchange rate   between the Nigerian currency, the naira and the North American country of the United States dollar had risen to N440 to $1 and N740.00, in the Parallel market which he had attributed to the high demand for the dollar.

 He had said that due to the high demand for foreign currency, particular, the dollar and Pounds tSterling, including the Euro, may have  encouraged  the likes of the  owner of the Aboki, FX, who lives in London,  had who had targeted Nigerian  to pull down the economy  to be fixing the currency’s exchange rate  and pasting  on  his webs site and making huge profits  in naira while the economy bleeds.   

   He  had  said that since the regulatory Banking Authority embarked on the implementation of the new monetary policy with the approval of the Katinsa born Nigerian President,  the country’s inflationary rate which has been  going up  over the last couple of months as reported by the Bureau of Statistics,  have started trending downwards  and exchange  rate relatively stable in the recent time  as it has somehow reduced  kidnapping  and ransom  making by armed  men  because  no one  will collect  the old  naira Notes  from them any longer.

Bundles Of The Redesigned N200, N5000 And N1000 Notes

 The apex bank governor  had given kudos to the Nigerian President   for giving the CBN, the approval ‘’to embark on the ambitious programme   which had not been carried out by the  regulatory body   over the last 19 years because past Administrations had not given it the opportunity  to do so.

 Given an insider information on why   the economy has not picked up over the last seven years, he had said that  if the apex bank  had been able to conduct  this important aspect  of its mandate , as they should normally  have  done within  five-eight year window, the situation may not have not been too bad.

He may have indicted former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, over their inability to give approval for the redesigning of the country’s old  naira Notes noting that  ‘’only an incorruptible  leader  of Buhari’s stature  that can give  such approval to the CBN’’.

Having achieved the purpose of coming out with the new monetary policy, may have informed why the CBN, top Management   had sat to review the policy  on the January 31, 2023, deadline for Swapping  of the old naira Notes for the New Notes.

 The apex Bank top Management  may have seen the need to extend the deadline by heeding to people’s appeal as a way   to encourage more Nigerians SWAP their old naira  Notes for the new ones an thus   had requested the approval of the Nigerian President to do so. 

 It had set  February 10, 2023, as the new deadline for swapping the old naira Notes for the new Notes but the President in turn had given an additional  seven days  grace period  expiring, on  February 17, 2023,  to enable Nigerians who could not exchange their old naira Notes between February 1, 2023 and February 10, 2023,  to deposit  their old Notes   after the February 10, 2023, deadline when  the old currency  would have ceased to be a legal tender.

Given the seriousness of the apex bank to recover the millions of naira outside the banking system, particular, in Zamfara state, described  a home of the Bandits Group and kidnappers in Nigeria, may have informed  why the CBN branch in the state has ordered First Bank, Access Bank, UBA, FCMB, and Zenith   Bank,   to make new naira Notes  available to Points of Sale, POS,  Operators, who have accounts with them   to facilitate the swapping  of the old naira Notes for the new ones or face sanctions.

 Indeed, the minority caucus of the House of Representatives under the close watch of Femi Gbajabiamila, has commended the CBN , Authorities  for listening  to the plea of  Nigerians by  extending  the deadline   for the swapping of the old naira notes for the one by 10 days.  

The House minority caucus, which had described ‘’the decision as a welcome development’’  had said that  ‘’it will ease the suffering  as well as economic hardship currently  being experienced by people, particular, people of the lower rung of the society  and traders in accessing  the new naira Notes in the earlier stipulated deadline of January 31, 2023.

The duo, Aswaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, and Atiku, the PDP, Candidate, for the 2023, general elections had at different times lend their voice to the extension of the deadline for the swapping of the old naira Notes to the  new Notes.

, There were reports on Saturday, January 28, 2023 that, Atiku, had urged the CBN, governor to extend the deadline for the use of the old naira Notes, describing the January 31, 2023, deadline as’’ unrealistic and causing heavy discomfort to Nigerians’’.

The PDP, Presidential Flag bearer, who could not hide his feelings was said to have tweeted   that ‘’it will be magnanimous for the Federal government and the regulatory body to ease the suffering of the people while the bank can continue to sensitize the public on the imperative of the mobile banking policy’’.

 Buhari may have listened to the plea of Tinubu bu and Atiku, two of the 18 Contenders jostling to take over from him  after the Februsry 25, Presidential and National Assembly elections, for the 2023, general elections that he had approve the CBN, request to extend the deadline by 10 days, and to add an additional seven days grace period for those who could not meet the deadline to do so.     

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