The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reacted to the statement of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, claiming that her ministry has no knowledge about the redesigning of the Naira Notes.
The Press Nigeria had earlier reported that Ahmed stated this on Friday when she appeared before a Senate committee.
Ahmed had faulted the process of the apex bank, which she described as ill-timed.
The spokesman of CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, while reacting to the statement of the Minister said the apex bank remains a very thorough institution.
He said the management of the CBN, in line with provisions of section 2(b), section 18(a), and section 19(a)(b) of the CBN Act 2007, had duly sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari in writing to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes.
He called on Nigerians to support the currency redesign project, adding that the process is in the interest of Nigerians.
Nwanisobi claimed that some persons are hoarding significant sums of banknotes outside the vaults of commercial banks, which should not be encouraged by anyone who means well for Nigeria.
He further stated that the currency management in Nigeria has faced several escalating challenges which threatened the integrity of the currency, the CBN, and the country.
Nwanisobi added that every top-rate Central Bank was committed to safeguarding the integrity of the local legal tender, the efficiency of its supply, as well as its efficacy in the conduct of monetary policy.
Speaking on the timing of redesigning the Naira notes, Nwanisobi disclosed that CBN had waited for 20 years to carry out the project.
He added that the standard practice globally is for CBN to redesign, produce and circulate new local legal tender every five to eight years.
Nwanisobi assured Nigerians that the currency redesign exercise is not targeted at any group.
He added that the process will deepen Nigeria’s push to entrench a cashless economy in the face of increased minting of the eNaira.
The spokesman noted that the process will help curb the incidents of terrorism and kidnapping due to access of persons to the large volume of money outside the banking system used as a source of funds for ransom payments.
Nwanisobi, therefore, urged Nigerians, irrespective of their status, to support the Naira redesign project, as it is for the greater good of the economy.