Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning , Zainab Ahmad has disapproved of the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the Naira notes.
The disapproval is coming barely 48 hours after the Governor of CBN Godwin Emefiele announced that the apex bank would redesign the country’s currency December 15, 2022.
According to the minister, the policy, if implemented, would portend great consequences for the nation and its economy.
Ahmad said this while responding to a question raised by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central) during 2023 budget defence session with the Senate Committee on Finance.
“Just two days after announcement of the policy, value of Naira to a US dollar has risen from N740 to N788 to a US dollar due to rush in exchange of stached Naira Notes for foreign currencies, particularly the dollar,” Bamidele said.
“To me, the policy may be a well conceived one, but the timing going by the realities on 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.”
The Minister also added that she was not aware of the policy, and only got to learn of it from the media.
“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 the Naira against other foreign currencies.
“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.”