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  • Updated: February 17, 2023

Naira Redesign: How Policy Became Most Laughable in Nigeria’s History

Naira Redesign: How Policy Became Most Laughable in Nigeriaâ

MACBAM is calling for the increase in the deadline for Pastoralists with no access to Banks have time to swap their money

Now that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reportedly directed Deposit Money Banks to collect old N500 and N1,000 notes from customers with reference codes generated from its website, it is safe to say that the naira redesign policy is the most ridiculous in Nigeria’s modern history.

In this report, AllNews Nigeria seeks to point out some unfathomable mess the naira redesign policy has brought upon itself, CBN, the federal government and the Nigerian people.

In the last hour, multiple bank sources told AllNews Nigeria that bank branches received a directive from their head offices to collect the old notes from their customers who have enrolled and generated reference codes from the CBN website.

And when a top CBN official spoke to Vanguard Newspaper, the source said, “Yes, we have directed them to collect the old N500 and N1,000 from customers, subject to a maximum of N500,000.”

The policy ridiculed President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the old N500 and N1,000 notes were no longer legal tenders but that those having the notes should take the notes to CBN.

How ridiculous could it sound that different state governments, including Kaduna, Lagos, and Jigawa states have publicly come out to go against the president’s orders?

Usually, the president is supposed to be the prime director of national affairs.

The naira redesign policy has only flattened President Buhari’s power to make law and ensure it is enforced across the country.

It has questioned the intuition of the leadership of the CBN

How will the leadership of the apex bank in the land explain to Nigerians that it had earlier said papers to print the new notes were inadequate but remained resolute that the deadline on the notes still stands?

Until two weeks before the deadline, citizens across the country who spoke with AllNews Nigeria correspondents who have exhaustively covered the naira debacle maintained that they didn’t see the new notes.

How will responsible agencies be culpable in their duties and expect the people to take them seriously?

CBN needs to admit that it came up short in its functions.

Consequently, the apex bank opened a portal for people with old N500 and N1,000 notes to register how much they want to deposit and to get a reference code to confirm their registration.

The reference code will be used to deposit the old notes at any CBN offices.

A top bank official and branch head told Vanguard Newspaper that the branch will collect old notes from customers tomorrow (Saturday) as the unit did not open to customers today due to fear of attack.

It implies that CBN and its handlers need to gain more know-how in handling critical national policies in the country.

If by chance the body will receive the old notes tomorrow, as the source said, it means there is institutional chaos in the CBN and the commercial banks themselves.

The policy just made state government more powerful than necessary

Under the guise of being responsive to the agony of the people of the states they govern, the lacuna in the naira redesign has just made some state governors more powerful than necessary.

The state broadcast of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-rufai, immediately President Muhammadu Buhari rounded his national broadcast alongside Governor Nyesom Wike’s comments during his media chat portraying a disconnect between Nigeria, the presidency and the state governors. 

Critics have said that state governors who had gone dumb on other national issues, including EndSARS protests, ASUU strikes or fuel scarcity, suddenly become people’s advocates at this time because it concerns them more.

Whether or not this is true, it is expedient to say that the hiatus would not have shown its teeth if not for the ill-conceived naira redesign.

The policy made a mess of ordinary Nigerians

The naira redesign policy made a colossal mess of ordinary Nigerians and hardly tortured the money-bag politicians it was meant to haunt.

Nigerians could not undertake their daily business and could not feed or save.

They lived in fear for days and even made enemies with vendors rejecting the old notes or not giving out the new notes.

Now that there has been a waiver, the policy has made a mess of Nigeians’ emotions, psychology and communal acceptance. 

The policy has brewed enmity between Nigerians and Point of Sales (POS) agents and has made Nigerians who relent on the daily movement of cash vulnerable.

It has led to pockets of protests and the destruction of public peace, lives and properties. 

If the federal government had looked inward and not chosen to use a myopic  approach in punishing only money launderers and politicians, it would have known that it was ill-timed, considering that we had hardly enjoyed any of the promises they made.

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Yusuf Adua
Yusuf Adua

Yusuf Adua is an investigative journalist passionate about politics, solution-based reporting and f...

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