Our reporter| President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said he gave the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) the approval to redesign the naira notes.
According to the President, the CBN convinced him that the economy stood to benefit from reduction in inflation, currency counterfeiting, and the excess cash in circulation.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari made the disclosure while speaking in a Hausa radio interview with Halilu Ahmed Getso and Kamaluddeen Sani Shawai.
According to the president, Nigeria has a lot to gain from the change in naira notes, adding that he did not consider the period of three months for the change to the new notes as being short.
He further stated that Nigerians with legitimate sources of income have nothing to fear for the naira redesign.
”People with illicit money buried under the soil will have a challenge with this but workers, businesses with legitimate incomes will face no difficulties at all,” the president said.
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, last week announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flow.
Less than 48-hours after, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, said the fiscal authorities were not consulted by the CBN.
“We are also looking at what the consequences will be. There will be some benefits but there are some challenges. I don’t know if the monetary authorities have looked very closely at what the consequences are and how they can be mitigated,” she had said.
However, responding to the minister’s claim, Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN spokesperson, said the apex bank sought the approval of the president in line with provisions of Section 2(b), Section 18(a), and Section 19(a)(b) of the CBN Act, 2007.