Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has defended the bank’s decision to redesign some Naira notes, insisting that he did not need to consult with the Minister of Finance.
The CBN-Finance Ministry spat over the apex bank’s decision to redesign some Naira notes has escalated.
He stated that the action was taken to seize control of the currency in circulation, pointing out that the vast majority of the country’s currency notes were held outside of banking operations.
He also stated that the proposed policy was in accordance with Sections 19, subsections A and B of the CBN Act 2007, under which the CBN sought and received President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to redesign, produce, and circulate new series of banknotes in denominations of N200, N500, and N1,000.
BizWatch recalls that Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, had stated on Friday that she was unaware of the CBN’s decision to redesign some Naira notes.
The Minister spoke just 48 hours after Emefiele declared the redesigned notes legal tender on December 15, 2022.
The Minister made the remarks in response to a question from Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC – Ekiti Central) during the Senate Committee on Finance’s hearing on the 2023 budget defense session, warned the CBN of the potential consequences.
In response to the minister, Emefiele said in a brief statement on Friday evening declared that the CBN does not need to consult anyone before redesigning the Naira.
Emefiele stated that he obtained President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to redesign, produce, and circulate Naira notes, citing relevant sections of the CBN Act to support his claim, and that the action he took was legal.
“With the president’s approval in writing, the CBN does not need to consult anyone else,” Emefiele pointedly told the Finance Minister.