The CBN Governor honoured the summons by the House of Representatives when the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria, Aisha Ahmad, appeared before the legislators to answer questions and explain the rationale behind the Naira redesign and cash withdrawal policies of the apex bank.. She could not authoritatively answered all questions posed
The CBN Governor honoured the summons by the House of Representatives when the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria, Aisha Ahmad, appeared before the legislators to answer questions and explain the rationale behind the Naira redesign and cash withdrawal policies of the apex bank..
She could not authoritatively answered all questions posed to her but satisfactorily satisfied the intended briefing as envisaged by the CBN. She told the House of Representatives members that she does not know how many notes were printed in the recent redesign of the naira but puts the volume in the volume of 500 million notes. She declined naming the exact figure for fear of not being accurate with the actual as ordered for.
The lawmakers also grilled the Deputy Governor who represented Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, on the new cash withdrawal policy of the apex bank arguing that the newly introduced withdrawal limit was not done for political reasons.
The CBN had recently introduced new N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, with concerns that the newly designed denominations are scarce in circulation.
Ahmad said she could not ascertain the exact amount and the number of notes printed. The CBN deputy governor said she did not want to give a wrong figure.
A lawmaker, Sada Soli, in the course of the grilling of the CBN deputy governor, raised concerns over the non-availability of the new notes, days after it was were released to the public and asked her to disclose the quantities of new notes printed. But responding to the question, the CBN deputy governor said she does not know the quantities of notes printed by the apex bank.
The chamber became rowdy as several members were miffed by her statement. The CBN deputy governor later said a total of 500 million mints were ordered but declined to answer questions concerning how much was spent on naira redesign, and if the amount was appropriated by the National Assembly.
The House had last Thursday, directed CBN to suspend implementation of the new cash withdrawal policy which is expected to take off on January 9, 2023, pending compliance with provisions of the Act establishing the apex bank. But the CBN, ostensibly bowing to pressure on Wednesday reversed its policy on cash withdrawals.
It also summoned the CBN governor to brief the House on several policies of the bank recently, particularly the new currency and the withdrawal limit policy of N100,000 and N500,000 for individuals and organisations respectively.
“We respectfully apprise you that the CBN Governor is a member of the delegation of H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari currently attending the USA -Africa Summit in Washington D.C. “Consequently, the Governor will not be able to honour your invitation on Thursday, December 15, 2022.
But the CBN gave four reasons for the redesign of the naira: first, to address the issue of individuals who have made currency fraud their main source of income. People who have hidden money they have stolen, for instance, would either find a way to change it by taking the money out or would not need it given the change in the value of the Naira. Two,the currency change also aims to deal a fatal blow to the growing kidnapping and ransom industry. Three to aid in lowering the rate of inflation and four,to control the amount of money in circulation.