“We’re not consulted” – Finance Ministry disowns CBN’s naira redesign
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has distanced the ministry from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s move to redesign some naira notes.
Ahmed spoke during the defence of her ministry’s 2023 budget proposal before the Senate Committee on Finance in Abuja on Friday.
She was responding to questions from Senator Bamidele Opeyemi (APC – Ekiti Central), who warned of the dire consequences of implementing the redesign at this time.
The senator said that since the CBN made the announcement of the planned redesign, the naira had further weakened against the United States dollar.
He said what was N740/$1 has jumped to $788/$1 due to the rush to exchange stashed funds.
“To me, the policy may be well conceived, but the timing going by 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,” Opeyemi said.
Reacting, Ahmed said her ministry was not consulted before the policy was announced by the CBN.
The minister said that the redesign of the naira notes would have grave consequences for the nation’s currency.
“Distinguished Senators, we were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by the CBN on the planned naira redesigning and cannot comment on it as regards merits or otherwise.
“However, as a privileged Nigerian 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.
“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,” Ahmed said.