CBN: Inside Story of naira Redesign, Printing; Emefiele, Nigeria’s Biggest Loser In Buhari’s Administration   

By Suleiman Umaru and Lateef Adegbite

Those who thinks that Godwin Emefiele, the embattled former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, during the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration had implemented the proposed redesign  and printing of the new, N200, N500 and N1000  notes, without the then President’s approval  may have to do a rethink.

Halilu: MD, NSPMC, says former President Buhari gave Emefiele, immediate past CBN, governor, approval to redesign and print new naira Notes

Ahmed  Halilu,  Managing Director, Nigerian Security, Printing and Minting Company, NSPMC,  had told the trial Federal High Court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  that the printing of the new naira notes was at ’’ the instance of  the former Nigerian President and not Emefiele , the immediate past CBN, governor as being  speculated.

The NSPMC, Chief Executive officer, CEO, had confirmed before Justice Maryanne Anehin of the trial Court that the former Katsina state born Nigerian President   gave a formal approval for the printing of the new naira notes on October 6, 2022.

The former Nigerian President  had reportedly  said that  when Emefiele, the immediate past CBN, governor  approached him in early 2022, ‘’to seek permission  to embark  on a currency  redesign project and the reasons presented by him to do so , were found to be genuine, he did not hesitate in giving the approval, confirming what the NSPMC , had said.

Halilu, had told the Court that he was encouraged to go ahead with the printing of the new N200, N500 and N1000 Notes, when Emefiele, the former governor of the CBN, invited him to his office to break the good news that he has ‘’secured the Presidential approval to print the new naira Notes locally’’ instead of printing in the United Kingdom, UK.

The NSPMC, helmsman , who could not hide his feelings had said  that  ‘’upon being shown  a copy  of the samples   as approved  by Buhari, the then Nigerian President’’,  that new naira Notes would be printed locally, it was then he discovered   that the capacity of the company’s printing and minting  machines  will not be  able ‘’to cope with the printing because of the technicalities  involved in the redesign process by the UK based- Company, De La Rue’’.

He was said to have suggested that the UK – based Company, which were the original designers of the new currency Notes be contacted   to make some amendments of the samples if it is to be printed locally.  The NSPMC, boss , who oppined that the  Printing and Minting Company had no option but to  contact the UK-based De La Rue,  which was said to have quickly responded to its request   by submitting different options to the company  which was  said to have been presented to Emefiele  and his Management team for consideration and approval.

The NSPMC, CEO, may have shocked Nigerians when he revealed that the QR code was not included in the first  option suggested by the UK –based company , De La Rue. This may have informed why the numbering system was amended by the company to ensure a ‘’hitch –free local production by NSPMC’’.

Halilu, the NSPMC, Managing Director who has said to have given an insight to the cost implication of the transactions with De La Rue, had aid that  £205,000 was paid by the CBN , to the company  for the services rendered.

  He may  have further shocked Nigerians when he told the trial Court  under cross –examination  by Emefiele’s  Lawyer,  Mahmoud Magai, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, AN,   that ‘’the unit cost of producing  the redesigned  naira Notes  was the same  as the unit cost  of producing the old currency’’.

He had revealed  that besides  the removal  of the QR code  by De La Rue, the original currency redesigning company, there was no significant change  in the samples  approved by the former Nigerian President  and the ones  that was said to have  finally  been printed  and Launched by him  in late November 2022,  and which has remained  the country’s legal  tender since then.

  For redesigning and printing of the new naira Notes, the Katsina state born former Nigeria President who had repeatedly expressed delight that the new Notes of N200, N500 and N1000 Notes, which he gave the CBN, approval to redesign and print locally was ostensibly done  ‘’to fortify the security s features and  make them difficult to Counterfeit’’.  Buhari had commended Emefiele and his Management team for the bold initiatives over the naira redesign and printing by the NSPMC.

Although, the former President may not have seen anything wrong with the new naira Notes, which had thrown the country into financial crisis between late 2022 and now, as he had acknowledged that ‘’international bet practice requires Central Banks and national Authorities to issue   new or redesigned currency Notes every fie or eight years’’ but the country is doing it after about 20 years.

 He was emphatic that the old naira Notes was long overdue’’ to wear a new look’’ that would ‘’improve its security features mitigate counterfeiting, preserve the country‘s collective heritage, and the currency they in circulation as well as reduce the overall cost of the nation’s currency Management’’.

The argument in both official and unofficial circles was that since Buhari, the former Nigerian President gave approval for the proposed naira redesign by CBN,  and printing  by NSPMC, which the present President  Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, had said  was targeted at Politicians who have political ambition like him, and which Emefiele is  currently paying the price, Buhari, ought to be dragged along with him   and subjected to the same  Court trial as a lesson for Nigerian political leaders and their appointees.

For heading the CBN, under the Buhari’s Administration which had exposed lots of his atrocities in office, particular, the redesign and printing of the new N200, N500 and N100 Notes, the former Lagos state governor who had criticized  Emeffiele’s  handling  of the currency and  the country’s monetary policy   at his inauguration on May 29, 2023, noted that his monetary policies   were not compatible  with that of Buhari , describing it as ‘’fundamentally different ‘’ as he was unable ,which was said to have held the country hostage economically. This may have informed why he had promised from the early stage of the Administration of going to unify of the official and parallel, popular, Black market foreign exchange rates.  He had his way.

To prove that Emefiele’s regime in CBN, was charaterized by illegalities, the Nigerian President had appointed   Jim Obazee, a special investigator to look into the office of the former CBN, governor for the eight years that he had served under the Buhari’s Administration.

The Department of state Security, under the close watch of Ysufu Magaji Bichi, had accused the former CBN , governor of using his position   to finance terrorism activities in the country, involve in other   fraudulent activities  and economic crimes of national  security dimension. The agency had made moves to arrest and prosecute   him while still in office but no luck.

Emefiele: Immediate Past governor of CBN and major loser in former President Buhari’s Administration

While Buhari, the immediate pat Nigerian President appears to be walking freely on the streets of Daura , his home town, Emefiele , the former CBN, governor who takes order from him is  currently being tried in a Federal High Court  in a Federal High Court in Abuja, FCT and  Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve center. The  Fedral High Court in Lagos, has already ordered’’ the interim forfeiture  of $4,719,05; N830,85,611  and several other  multi-million property linked  to  the former apex  bank governor  in Lagos which is within its area of jurisdictions.

Worried at the poor state of the nation’s economy, as inherited from the Buhari’s Administration, allegedly caused by the embattled Emefiele, the former CBN, governor which could worsen if the Organised Labour  Leadership should be allowed to call out the workers on strike over the concluded  new national minimum wage, may have informed why Tinubu had stepped in to resolve the areas of conflict between the parties: Government Representatives  and Labour Representatives in the tripartite Committee .  

Hear him: We have negotiated in good faith with open arms with the Labour Leadership on a new national minimum wage.  He may have gladdened the heart of the workers  when he stated  on Wednesday,  June 12,  2024, while presenting his Democracy  Day speech, that   ‘’a new  bill  shall soon be sent to the National Assembly ‘’ to enshrine  what has been agreed   upon  by the tripartite Committee  as part of the country’s Law  for the next five years  or less’’. 

Atiku: Former Nigerian Vice President, accuses Tinubu’s Administration of causing Nigerians severe economic hardship

AtIKu Abubakar , a former Nigerian Vice President during Olusegun Obasanjo’ Administration had said that Tinubu  has no reason to blame the Organised  Labour  for the country’s battered  economy, stressing that  in  ‘’ the past nine years  of the APC , Administration,’’ it   has thrown up a regime of hardship   manifested in excruciating  poverty’’.

The President may have agreed with the former Nigerian Vice President, when he admitted that ‘’prices of food  and basic commodities  have gone through the  roof top in the recent time   , as Nigerians  continue to battle  with  the country’s  toughest  economic crises  sparked  by  the current  government ‘s  twin  policies  of subsidy removal and unification  of forex windows’’.

Statistics provided in the month of April, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, shows that the country’s current inflation, rate is about 33.9, compared to the 33.69%.  ‘’I understand the economic difficulties we face as a nation as the economic difficulties continue’’, he had said.

The question on the lips of most people was:  What is he Administration doing to solve the economic problem which it had created for Nigerians over the last one year but his response remains the same.‘’I shall always listen to the people and will never turn my back on you’’.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *