Breaking: Buhari reacts to CBN Naira Redesign

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President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that he fully supports the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy to redesign the Naira.

This is coming barely 48 hours that the Ministry of Finance made a statement that it was not carried along in the process and hence, knew nothing about it.

Muhammadu Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari

The President, however, stated on Twitter via the official handle, @NGRPresident apparently posted by one of his media aides wrote: "@MBuhari today said that the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria @cenbank to launch new designs and replace high-value Naira notes had his support, and he is convinced that the nation will gain a lot by doing so.

“People with illicit money buried under the soil will have a challenge with this, but workers and businesses with legitimate incomes will face no difficulties at all.”

Many financial experts have, however, predicted that it will put more pressure on the Naira, which immediately fell N38 to the dollar immediately after the announcement, pushing the Naira to N800 per $1. There's the belief that those who hold illicit money may quickly exchange it for dollars, and of course, monies paid for oil theft, for instance, are not paid in Naira but in foreign currencies.

"I don’t see any positive difference here rather, it will more pressure on naira by the time politicians start buying dollars with the old notes, and once the new notes are produced, they will buy them back using dollars," says @Jayjay_Sixtus.

Another issue is the cost of printing. A report recently claimed that the CBN spends over N50b on printing N2.1b currency notes, while the current administration has destroyed N6trn notes within the last 7 years.

By and large, the uncoordinated manner and confusion, which was again brought to bear by the Finance Minister, speaks of policy somersault and disarray.

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