‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that the ongoing redesigning of the naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has come to stay.
Responding to some opposition to the policy, the President said he does not understand the reasons against the policy.
President Buhari spoke on Wednesday, in London, while responding to questions from newsmen.
He said: “With this change of currency, I think there will be issues with a lot of money, but time is being given from October to December.
“Three months is enough for whatever money you have, to get it changed through a legal system. So I do not know why people are complaining. There is no going back.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in October, announced plans to redesign the 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the redesign will take effect from Thursday, December 15, 2022.
He also said that existing notes would seize to be regarded as legal tender by January 31, 2023.
The CBN said that it is worrisome that 85 percent of the currency in circulation is being hoarded by Nigerians.
He further urged Nigerians to proceed to their banks to deposit their Naira notes, adding that the deposit fee would be waived for transactions below N150,000.
Emefiele added that the redesigning of Naira notes would help to curb counterfeit notes, as well as hamper ramson payment to terrorists and kidnappers.
However, some Nigerians who opposed the policy, claimed that the redesigning of the Naira notes will only cost the nation huge sums of money at the expense of taxpayers.
Others claimed that redesigning the Naira notes will not add value to the standard of living of Nigerians and as such the exercise is unacceptable.
However, President Buhari, who had in an earlier statement confirmed that he endorsed the plan, said he was convinced that the nation would gain a lot from CBN’s decision to redesign the naira notes.
He said reasons given to him by the CBN convinced him that the economy stood to benefit from reduced inflation rate, currency counterfeiting, and the excess cash in circulation.
Buhari said he did not consider the period of three months for the change to the new notes as being short.
“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.