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President Muhammadu Buhari has waded into the new Naira banknotes controversy between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Finance. (TNG) reports President Buhari to have said the decision of the CBN to launch the new Naira notes in December 2022 has his support and is convinced that the nation will gain a lot by so doing.

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Recall that as a means of checking serial abuse of the Naira, the CBN disclosed it has concluded plans to redesign certain denominations of the currency.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, who made this known during a press conference in Abuja recently, said the apex bank had obtained the approval of Buhari to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.

However, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning said the ministry was not consulted on the new monetary policy.

Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said she received information on the new policy just as other Nigerians, stressing that her ministry, as a fiscal authority, was not part of the process leading to the formulation and announcement of the policy.

“We were not consulted, it was an announcement that we heard, it was said that part of the reason advocated was that it was one of the ways to mope up liquidity to manage inflation.

“But there are consequences that we are also looking at, what will the consequences be, there will be some benefits, but there will be some challenges.

“And I don’t know whether the monetary authorities have actually looked very closely as to where the consequences are and how they can be mitigated. So I still advise that you have that discussion with the monetary authorities,” she said.

Meanwhile, wading into the controversy, Buhari on Sunday okayed the decision of the CBN to launch the new designs and replace the high-value Naira notes.

Speaking in a Hausa radio interview with the famous journalist Halilu Ahmed Getso, and Kamaluddeen Sani Shawai to be aired Wednesday morning, President Buhari said reasons given to him by the CBN convinced him that the economy stood to benefit from a reduction in inflation, currency counterfeiting and the excess cash in circulation.

He 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,” Buhari said.

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