CBN Plan to Redesign Nigerian Currency (Naira) Stirs Controversy at the Federal Level

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CBN Plan to Redesign Nigerian Currency Stirs Controversy at the Federal Level

  • There is a high level of disagreements among members of the Nigerian Economic Council over CBN plan to redesign the Naira.
  • Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, rejects being part of the plans to redesign the Nigerian currency as other Nigerians including Sheik Gumi, aired their views.
  • President Buhari gave CBN an approval to revamp the notes.
  • Nigerians express their disappointment over the "lack of cooperation" among federal economic parastatals on the new Naira.

Disagreement Across Nigeria Over CBN Plan to Redesign Naira

T(caps)he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, last month, announced its plan to redesign the Nigerian currency (Naira). The announcement was made by the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

Knowledge Trend Media reported that the new Naira notes are scheduled to be made available for public use in December 2022.

The redesign of the Naira note, according to CBN, is part of the Bank's constitutional responsibility to secure the Naira.

The plan to release a new Naira design has raised debates and controversies among Nigerians. While some supported the idea of the currency reform, many Nigerians strongly condemned the plan and labeled it, a misplaced priority.

Nigerian Minister for Finance Distant Self from the CBN Plan to Redesign Naira Notes

The debate surrounding the Nigerian currency is not only about ordinary Nigerians. Some prominent Nigerians and top government officials have publicly criticized the CBN plan.

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disagreed with the planned naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The minister deem the plan as happening at the wrong time and added that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not inform her about its plan to redesign the Naira notes.

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The finance minister made the statement while responding to the Senate Committee on Finance on Friday. She excluded her ministry from being responsible for any consequence the planned changes may bring to Nigeria.

Responding to questions related to the new currency, as reported by the AIT and Sahara reporters, Zainab said, “To me, the policy may be a well-conceived one, but the timing going by realities on the ground, is very wrong as the naira may fall to as low as N1,000 to a US dollar before January 31, 2023, fixed for full implementation of the policy."


“Distinguished Senators, we were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by CBN on the planned naira redesigning and cannot comment on it as regards merits or otherwise. However, as a Nigerian privileged to be at the top of Nigeria’s fiscal management, the policy as rolled out at this time portends serious consequences on the value of naira to other foreign currencies."

Nigerian Minister for Finance Distant the Ministry from the CBN Plan to Redesign Naira Notes


“I will, however, appeal to this committee to invite the CBN governor for required explanations as regards merits of the planned policy and rightness or otherwise of its implementation now,” the minister concluded.

Responding to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that it followed due process as far as redesigning the naira notes is concerned.

What Other Nigerians Say About the New Money

The controversial Nigerian Islamic cleric, Sheik Gumi, had also condemned the redesign of the Naira by the federal government.

Gumi who is famous for always acting as the middleman and intercessor for terrorists, receiving a ransom for the terrorists, and speaking on behalf of the bandits condemned the new Naira note through a post on his official Facebook page.

The cleric said that the new currency will not stop terrorists from demanding ransom, instead, they are going to get ransom in dollars and other hard currencies. He also added that most Nigerians

He also added that the Naira redesign is only going to increase socio-economic turmoil in the country as most local dwellers and peasant farmers may not be able to catch up with the financial competitiveness of the new currency.

“kidnapping can only be stopped by robust policing, social justice for all, and equitable wealth distribution, stressing that any cosmetic measures will not stop it.”

Sheik Gumi on New Naira Notes

“Many good ideas are marred by wrong timing. This is likely to be another one. No matter how ingenious the hatchers may romanticize; the benefit will remain phantom since the reality on the ground is incongruous and it spells doom for the escapade,” Gumi added.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have responded annoyingly to the disagreement going on at the federal level about the new Naira. Many see this as a definition of "incompetence and lack of cooperation" among key Nigerian government parastatals.

A commenter said, "This scenario has opened up a yawning chasm of non-cooperation and information dearth between the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance.

Surely, these two institutions belong to a constitutionally approved economic council. So, the finance minister voicing this kind of subtle protest means that all is not well in the economic council."

The Presidency Stance on the New Naira Notes Design

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he was aware of the plan to redesign the Naira note and that he was the one that gave the Central of Nigeria approval to go ahead with the implementation of the policy.

The CBN new policy is expected to bring Naira back to the government control and render stolen money useless. The decision, according to the federal government, will also help to mitigate election rigging and vote buying during the 2023 general election in Nigeria.

The fact that people at the federal level have contrasting opinions about the CBN decisions is a subject of concern about the level of mutuality and cooperation at the top of the Nigerian political system.

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