Real Reason I Approved Redesign Of Naira Locally – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated the new Naira banknotes, expressing utmost delight that the redesigned currencies were locally produced by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting, NSPM Plc.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new banknotes, which preceded the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting in Abuja, Buhari explained in detail the basis for his approval to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to redesign the N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes.

According to him, the new Naira banknotes have been fortified with security features that make them difficult to counterfeit.

He added that the new banknotes would help CBN to design and implement better monetary policy objectives, as well as enrich the collective memory of Nigeria’s heritage.

Buhari, who commended the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele and his deputies for the initiative, also thanked the Managing Director, Mr. Ahmed Halilu, Executive Directors and staff of NSPM PLC “for working tirelessly with the apex bank to make the currency redesign a reality, and for printing the new Naira notes within a comparatively short time.”

Read Also: Buhari Set To Unveil Redesigned Naira Today – Emefiele

The President noted that international best practice required central banks and national authorities to issue new or redesigned currency notes every five to eight years.

He noted that it was now almost 20 years since the last major redesign of the country’s local currency was done, adding that implied that the Naira was long overdue for a redesign.

The President said: ‘A cycle of banknote redesign is generally aimed at achieving specific objectives, including, but not limited to improving security of banknotes.

‘It is also aimed at mitigating counterfeiting, preserving the collective national heritage, controlling currency in circulation, and reducing the overall cost of currency management.

‘As is known, our local laws, specifically the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007, grants the CBN the power to issue and redesign the Naira.

‘In line with this power, the bank’s governor approached me earlier in this year to seek my permission to embark on a currency redesign project. I considered all the facts and reasons presented before me by the CBN.’

He expressed the hope that the new notes would address the urgent need to take control of currency in circulation, adding that it would also address the menace of hoarding Naira banknotes outside the banking system and curb the shortage of clean and fit banknotes in circulation.

Buhari said the redesigned notes would equally address the increase in counterfeiting of high-denomination Naira banknotes.

‘It is on this basis that I gave my approval for the redesign of the N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes.

‘While this may not be apparent to many Nigerians, only four out of the 54 African countries print their currencies in their countries, and Nigeria is one, hence a majority of African countries print their currencies abroad and import them the way we import other goods.

‘That is why it is with immense pride that I announce to you that these redesigned currencies are locally produced right here in Nigeria by NSPM Plc,’ he said.

In his remarks, Emefiele explained that in line with global practice, the naira was supposed to be redesigned and re-issued between five and eight years.

He regretted that in Nigeria, the naira had not been redesigned for about 19 years now because of lack of political will from the previous leaders.

Africa Today News, New York

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