From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has distanced himself from claim by Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmad, that her ministry was not informed of the planned redesign of naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the apex bank has his backing.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he said
The CBN has his support and that he is convinced that the nation will gain a lot by doing so.
The apex bank had said due process was followed in the planning of the policy, saying the project would help in curbing terrorism and kidnapping among other benefits.
But the minister, while defending her ministry’s 2023 budget before the Senate Committee on Finance in Abuja, last Friday, had said the CBN failed to consult her ministry on the proposed redesign of the denominations.
According to the statement, President Buhari, while speaking in a Hausa radio in an interview with Halilu Ahmed Getso, and Kamaluddeen Sani Shawai to be aired on Wednesday Morning on Tambari TV on Nilesat, said reasons given to him by the CBN convinced him that the economy stood to benefit from 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.”
The President also addressed issues of food security and national security, among others.