Naira Redesign

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Investigative Report: Naira Scarcity and Redesign in Nigeria

INTRODUCTION:
This investigative report reveals the real story behind naira redesign policy introduced by the federal government of Nigeria resulting to cash crunch nationwide.
This investigative report was written by Francis Adegoke from Editorials, Articles and news reports from different Nigerian journals, Newspapers, and Interviews of different Personalities by Nigerian Televisions such as Channels Television, TVC, AriseTV, and AIT
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION FINDINGS
The Nigerian economy has been faced with several challenges over the years. These challenges include inflation, unemployment, insecurity, devaluation of naira and naira scarcity, primarily caused by the high volume of money kept outside the banking system and attributed to be hoarded by politicians.
However, In order to tackle this anomalies, the federal government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari through Central Bank of Nigeria proposed a policy of naira redesign, a policy allegedly aimed to revamp the country’s economy and to restore peace and sanity in the financial sector. However, this policy came with vices and unprecedented anarchy resulting to cash cruch nationwide. The development which has grossly degenerated to significant loss of businesses and investments across the country.
On the 26th day of October 2022, The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, also said his words that the redesigning policy will cub spread of fake currency, money laundering among others sharp practices.
According to him, the naira redesign will affect N200, N500 and N1000 notes, and the circulation of the newly redesigned notes will commence on 15th of December 2022.
On the 23rd of November, President Buhari unveiled the newly redesigned notes on live broadcast and made available for public use on the 15th of December.
In January 2023, the unthinkable began when cash scarcity hit the roof after the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele suddenly issued a deadline for Nigerians to deposit all the old naira notes with them in the bank, while instructing all the banks to begin issuing new notes to their customers stop releasing old notes to the public in order to allow the new ones circulate.
After the announcement, all the heads of banks in Nigeria including micro finance banks directed their customers to start depositing their old notes in the bank in line with directive from the federal government. One month down the line, There has been shortage of both new and old naira notes at ATMs, necessitating some Nigerians to wait in long lines or sleep on the sidewalk waiting for ATMs to be reloaded.
CBN conduct routine check in major Banks.
Worried by the stress and struggle Nigerians face to withdraw money from banks, CBN decided to investigate why the new naira notes are not in circulation. With this, CBN discovered most of the banks have been hoarding the new naira notes and selling them to the politicians for vote buying during the general election.
Nigerians protest over cash scarcity
At the beginning of February 2022, protest broke out in Sagamu in Ogun state, where ten new generation banks were attacked and destroyed by angry mob after some videos released by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC showed how some of these banks were hidding the new naira notes in their vaults for their own dastard motive.
Among the banks attacked were Union Bank, GTB, First Bank, Polaris Bank, Keystone Bank, Sterling Bank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA, Zenith Bank and Access Bank.
The protest which started on Monday 20th in front of the Palace of Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi down to Sabo area of the City had the protesters protesting against the closure of banks and the people’s inability to withdraw money from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the metropolis. However, 27 people were arrested in connection to the protest which was said to be politically-motivated.
Condemning the incident, the chief press secretary to Ogun State Governor, Kunle Somorin disclosed that the protest was politically-motivated by the opposition Party, PDP. According to him, the violent protest took place in Sagamu during which innocent people, banks and public infrastructures were attacked by some disgruntled members of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose members and some of the party’s candidates were seen leading the demonstration.
“While the protests was purportedly against the “scarcity of naira notes”, the real intention of these elements became obvious with the involvement of the known PDP members.”
Inflation due to naira scarcity
My Investigation into the Nigeria Foreign Exchange, the official exchange rate set by the Central Bank of Nigeria: naira to U.S. dollar is approximately ₦459.73 per 1 US dollar. This rate is almost two times different from the real exchange rate on the black market. The real exchange rate of the naira to the U.S. dollar is approximately ₦750 per 1 US dollar on the black market
Also, research on the National Bureau of Statistics website, revealed that annual inflation rate in Nigeria accelerated to 21.82% in January 2023, the highest since September 2005, from 21.34% in the prior month, against market expectations of a further slowdown to 21.3%. Soaring food prices and a weaker naira currency were the main drivers. Prices of food, which is the most relevant in the CPI basket, recorded an upturn to 24.32% in January from 23.75% in the prior month. What does this mean? A clear observation shows that most people who leave in the rural areas, who are predominantly commercial farmers were grossly affected by the naira scarcity and thereby resulting to low productivity. Meanwhile, the only hope left for the masses to have access to cash is through the POS operators who have also been collecting between N1000, N1500 and N2000 charges for every N5000 and N10,000 withdrawn by customers and N300 charges for every N1000, which in turn is contributing to the hardship been faced by the common Nigerians.
In a recent chat with journalists in Edo State, Director, CBN Risk Management department, Laise Ijebor, said the approved charge for every N5,000 is N100 and anything done contrary to that is tantamount to punishing their fellow citizens.
“We are monitoring the situation and anyone caught would have his or her license withdrawn and would not be in the business because we are going round with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” Ijebor said.
“Customer should not be agitated, there is no need for any tension because your money is safe in the bank for now just get the little cash you need while using alternative means available to make payment” he said.
State Governors call for end of naira redesign policy
Worried by the clandestine moves by the federal government, Some state governors led by Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State have gone to the supreme court to stop the currency redesign policy from seeing the light of the day. Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State led other governors who believe the new policy is aimed directly to attack the presidential candidate from All progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Supreme Court orders CBN to extend use OF old naira notes
The Nigerian Supreme Court on the 8th of February ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the use of old naira notes as a result of the hardship the citizens are facing due to scarcity of the new naira notes.
A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice John Okoro, in a unanimous ruling, granted an interim injunction restraining the FG, CBN, commercial banks etc from implementing the February 10, deadline for the old 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes to stop being a legal tender.
The court further held that the FG, CBN, commercial banks must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue on February 15.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose details of the measures he was taking to immediately obey the Supreme Court decision extending the validity of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and also to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to continue to receive the notes from Nigerians.
SERAP also urged the president to publicly instruct the CBN to immediately and effectively implement the Supreme Court decision ordering an end to the cash withdrawal limits imposed by banks because such restrictions violate citizens’ right to freely use their property.SERAP also urged him to disclose measures he was taking to direct the CBN to immediately re-circulate the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, as ordered by the Supreme Court.

Civil Society Organisations decries FG’s violation of Supreme Court Order
Several civil society groups, like Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have expressed concern and worried over President Buhari and CBN violation of Supreme Court’s rulling halting the implementation of the naira redesign policy in the country. SERAP asked the president to publicly instruct the CBN to immediately and effectively implement the Supreme Court decision ordering an end to the cash withdrawal limits imposed by banks because such restrictions violate citizens’ right to freely use their property.
In a letter dated March 4, 2023 and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said there was an overriding public interest in disclosing the details of the measures the government and the CBN were taking to effectively and satisfactorily obey the Supreme Court decision.
The letter, read in part: “We would be grateful if the requested information and recommended measures are implemented within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. “If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our requests. The implementation by your government of the CBN policy on the redesign of the country’s currency has contributed to violations of citizens’ rights.
Facts about newly redesigned policy and state governors influence
The issue of currency redesign by the Nigerian government was geared towards addressing the high level of corruption among the politicians in Nigeria; from the Ministers to the State Governors, Senators, Reps members down to the lowest rank in the political sector.
The currency redesign and the cash crisis have exposed the treacherous nature of Nigeria’s ruling party (APC) and ruling elite who believe that power and wealth should be controlled by them without considering the welfare and needs of the masses.
The recent agitation by the state governors calling for the cancellation of the naira redesign implementation policy clearly showed how desperate and selfish they are.
The fact that 2023 general election was around the corner when that the governors made such move raised a very vital question as to why now?
Since President Bihari has assumed office in 2015, Nigeria has been experiencing different problems and calamity ranging from terrorists attack, kidnaping, child trafficking, ritual killings, ASUU and NASU strike, Owing of workers salaries and gratuity among others. None of the state governors never thought it was necessary to visit the president or approach the supreme court for intervention.
However, the governors thought it was necessary to visit the president to solve the problems they created themselves, by hijacking and sucking the whole new currencies released to the banks by the CBN in a matter of days. Investigation conducted after the video which was released by the EFCC revealed that some of the new naira notes still remaining in the bank vaults were kept for these same Politicians for profit making. It is a well known fact that corruption in Nigeria starts from the banks that have direct connection to the politicians. Most of the bank managements meet with the politicians for multibillion naira transactions. In most cases, many of these banks use bullion vans to deliver cash to the politicians at home. A case of All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom two billion vans were sighted entering his private apartment in Bourdillon less than a month of 2015 Presidential election.
This is the major reason why the governors are calling on the president to halt the policy so they can hold on to their loots and reserve for buying during the election.
Tinubu and his opponent, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have been accused of corruption, money laundering and drugs dealing, a recent drugs case of Tinubu exposed by the United States of America is still in court as at the time of writing this report. Tinubu and Atiku are well-known for their sharp practices before their presidential ambitions. Atiku Abubakar served as a Deputy Director of Nigerian Customs. He was also the vice president to president Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007. While Bola Tinubu served as Senator in 1992 and became Lagos State Governor between year 1999 to 2007.
However, these two political bigwigs have accumulated their wealth from taxpayers money and money made from illicit businesses, networking across the African continent, Europe, America and United Arab Emirates. Tinubu is linked with many companies and investments in Nigeria, with majority of them in the heart of Lagos state. He also has strong connection with more than 10 State Governors in Nigeria where he gets percentage of their annual allocations.
Atiku, on the other hand is nicknamed ‘Dubai Politican’ who only goes to Nigeria evey four years to contest for Presidential election and return back to UAE after he lost. Several companies have been linked to him, including Mikanno generating company and several other companies in Dubai where all their staff members are strictly Whites and Asian.
To strimline the chance of these two political structures to spend their loots during the election necessitated the federal government to introduce the policy of naira redesign in order to destroy the old currency in their vaults.
Conclusion
The issue of naira redesign and cash crunch in Nigeria is a deliberate attempt by the federal government to tackle corruption and cub vote buying during the recent general election. It’s a clear fact some politicians and political godfathers are in the decision making of Nigerians economy. These same people are the ones sponsoring terrorism and kidnapping in other to raise funds for their political career and to remain relevant in the society. Like an Intel from the American Defense that Nigerians are their own enemies. The power that be are cause of the problems Nigeria is facing today.
Recommendation
Now that the election is over, the federal government should direct the central bank of Nigeria to print more money and encourage the use of the old naira notes in order to address the current hardship cauaed by cash crunch in the country. Furthermore, Federal Government should know that fight against insurgency does need to affect the welfare of the masses, and therefore, all efforts to ensure the economy of the country is stable should be put in place.

Investigative Report: Naira Scarcity and Redesign in Nigeria

INTRODUCTION:
This investigative report reveals the real story behind naira redesign policy introduced by the federal government of Nigeria resulting to cash crunch nationwide.
This investigative report was written by Francis Adegoke from Editorials, Articles and news reports from different Nigerian journals, Newspapers, and Interviews of different Personalities by Nigerian Televisions such as Channels Television, TVC, AriseTV, and AIT
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION FINDINGS
The Nigerian economy has been faced with several challenges over the years. These challenges include inflation, unemployment, insecurity, devaluation of naira and naira scarcity, primarily caused by the high volume of money kept outside the banking system and attributed to be hoarded by politicians.
However, In order to tackle this anomalies, the federal government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari through Central Bank of Nigeria proposed a policy of naira redesign, a policy allegedly aimed to revamp the country’s economy and to restore peace and sanity in the financial sector. However, this policy came with vices and unprecedented anarchy resulting to cash cruch nationwide. The development which has grossly degenerated to significant loss of businesses and investments across the country.
On the 26th day of October 2022, The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, also said his words that the redesigning policy will cub spread of fake currency, money laundering among others sharp practices.
According to him, the naira redesign will affect N200, N500 and N1000 notes, and the circulation of the newly redesigned notes will commence on 15th of December 2022.
On the 23rd of November, President Buhari unveiled the newly redesigned notes on live broadcast and made available for public use on the 15th of December.
In January 2023, the unthinkable began when cash scarcity hit the roof after the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele suddenly issued a deadline for Nigerians to deposit all the old naira notes with them in the bank, while instructing all the banks to begin issuing new notes to their customers stop releasing old notes to the public in order to allow the new ones circulate.
After the announcement, all the heads of banks in Nigeria including micro finance banks directed their customers to start depositing their old notes in the bank in line with directive from the federal government. One month down the line, There has been shortage of both new and old naira notes at ATMs, necessitating some Nigerians to wait in long lines or sleep on the sidewalk waiting for ATMs to be reloaded.
CBN conduct routine check in major Banks.
Worried by the stress and struggle Nigerians face to withdraw money from banks, CBN decided to investigate why the new naira notes are not in circulation. With this, CBN discovered most of the banks have been hoarding the new naira notes and selling them to the politicians for vote buying during the general election.
Nigerians protest over cash scarcity
At the beginning of February 2022, protest broke out in Sagamu in Ogun state, where ten new generation banks were attacked and destroyed by angry mob after some videos released by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC showed how some of these banks were hidding the new naira notes in their vaults for their own dastard motive.
Among the banks attacked were Union Bank, GTB, First Bank, Polaris Bank, Keystone Bank, Sterling Bank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA, Zenith Bank and Access Bank.
The protest which started on Monday 20th in front of the Palace of Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi down to Sabo area of the City had the protesters protesting against the closure of banks and the people’s inability to withdraw money from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the metropolis. However, 27 people were arrested in connection to the protest which was said to be politically-motivated.
Condemning the incident, the chief press secretary to Ogun State Governor, Kunle Somorin disclosed that the protest was politically-motivated by the opposition Party, PDP. According to him, the violent protest took place in Sagamu during which innocent people, banks and public infrastructures were attacked by some disgruntled members of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose members and some of the party’s candidates were seen leading the demonstration.
“While the protests was purportedly against the “scarcity of naira notes”, the real intention of these elements became obvious with the involvement of the known PDP members.”
Inflation due to naira scarcity
My Investigation into the Nigeria Foreign Exchange, the official exchange rate set by the Central Bank of Nigeria: naira to U.S. dollar is approximately ₦459.73 per 1 US dollar. This rate is almost two times different from the real exchange rate on the black market. The real exchange rate of the naira to the U.S. dollar is approximately ₦750 per 1 US dollar on the black market
Also, research on the National Bureau of Statistics website, revealed that annual inflation rate in Nigeria accelerated to 21.82% in January 2023, the highest since September 2005, from 21.34% in the prior month, against market expectations of a further slowdown to 21.3%. Soaring food prices and a weaker naira currency were the main drivers. Prices of food, which is the most relevant in the CPI basket, recorded an upturn to 24.32% in January from 23.75% in the prior month. What does this mean? A clear observation shows that most people who leave in the rural areas, who are predominantly commercial farmers were grossly affected by the naira scarcity and thereby resulting to low productivity. Meanwhile, the only hope left for the masses to have access to cash is through the POS operators who have also been collecting between N1000, N1500 and N2000 charges for every N5000 and N10,000 withdrawn by customers and N300 charges for every N1000, which in turn is contributing to the hardship been faced by the common Nigerians.
In a recent chat with journalists in Edo State, Director, CBN Risk Management department, Laise Ijebor, said the approved charge for every N5,000 is N100 and anything done contrary to that is tantamount to punishing their fellow citizens.
“We are monitoring the situation and anyone caught would have his or her license withdrawn and would not be in the business because we are going round with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” Ijebor said.
“Customer should not be agitated, there is no need for any tension because your money is safe in the bank for now just get the little cash you need while using alternative means available to make payment” he said.
State Governors call for end of naira redesign policy
Worried by the clandestine moves by the federal government, Some state governors led by Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State have gone to the supreme court to stop the currency redesign policy from seeing the light of the day. Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State led other governors who believe the new policy is aimed directly to attack the presidential candidate from All progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Supreme Court orders CBN to extend use OF old naira notes
The Nigerian Supreme Court on the 8th of February ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the use of old naira notes as a result of the hardship the citizens are facing due to scarcity of the new naira notes.
A seven-man panel formed by the Supreme Court led by Justice John Okoro, came to a consensus granting a restraining order stopping the federal government and CBN from implementing the February 10, deadline for p olproliferation of the old naira notes.
Civil Society Organisations decries FG’s violation of Supreme Court Order
Several civil society groups, like Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have expressed concern and worried over President Buhari and CBN violation of Supreme Court’s rulling halting the implementation of the naira redesign policy in the country. SERAP asked the president to publicly instruct the CBN to immediately and effectively implement the Supreme Court decision ordering an end to the cash withdrawal limits imposed by banks because such restrictions violate citizens’ right to freely use their property.
In a letter dated March 4, 2023 and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said there was an overriding public interest in disclosing the details of the measures the government and the CBN were taking to effectively and satisfactorily obey the Supreme Court decision.
The letter, read in part: “We would be grateful if the requested information and recommended measures are implemented within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. “If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our requests. The implementation by your government of the CBN policy on the redesign of the country’s currency has contributed to violations of citizens’ rights.
Facts about newly redesigned policy and state governors influence
The issue of currency redesign by the Nigerian government was geared towards addressing the high level of corruption among the politicians in Nigeria; from the Ministers to the State Governors, Senators, Reps members down to the lowest rank in the political sector.
The currency redesign and the cash crisis have exposed the treacherous nature of Nigeria’s ruling party (APC) and ruling elite who believe that power and wealth should be controlled by them without considering the welfare and needs of the masses.
The recent agitation by the state governors calling for the cancellation of the naira redesign implementation policy clearly showed how desperate and selfish they are.
The fact that 2023 general election was around the corner when that the governors made such move raised a very vital question as to why now?
Since President Bihari has assumed office in 2015, Nigeria has been experiencing different problems and calamity ranging from terrorists attack, kidnaping, child trafficking, ritual killings, ASUU and NASU strike, Owing of workers salaries and gratuity among others. None of the state governors never thought it was necessary to visit the president or approach the supreme court for intervention.
However, the governors thought it was necessary to visit the president to solve the problems they created themselves, by hijacking and sucking the whole new currencies released to the banks by the CBN in a matter of days. Investigation conducted after the video which was released by the EFCC revealed that some of the new naira notes still remaining in the bank vaults were kept for these same Politicians for profit making. It is a well known fact that corruption in Nigeria starts from the banks that have direct connection to the politicians. Most of the bank managements meet with the politicians for multibillion naira transactions. In most cases, many of these banks use bullion vans to deliver cash to the politicians at home. A case of All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom two billion vans were sighted entering his private apartment in Bourdillon less than a month of 2015 Presidential election.
This is the major reason why the governors are calling on the president to halt the policy so they can hold on to their loots and reserve for buying during the election.
Tinubu and his opponent, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have been accused of corruption, money laundering and drugs dealing, a recent drugs case of Tinubu exposed by the United States of America is still in court as at the time of writing this report. Tinubu and Atiku are well-known for their sharp practices before their presidential ambitions. Atiku Abubakar served as a Deputy Director of Nigerian Customs. He was also the vice president to president Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007. While Bola Tinubu served as Senator in 1992 and became Lagos State Governor between year 1999 to 2007.
However, these two political bigwigs have accumulated their wealth from taxpayers money and money made from illicit businesses, networking across the African continent, Europe, America and United Arab Emirates. Tinubu is linked with many companies and investments in Nigeria, with majority of them in the heart of Lagos state. He also has strong connection with more than 10 State Governors in Nigeria where he gets percentage of their annual allocations.
Atiku, on the other hand is nicknamed ‘Dubai Politican’ who only goes to Nigeria evey four years to contest for Presidential election and return back to UAE after he lost. Several companies have been linked to him, including Mikanno generating company and several other companies in Dubai where all their staff members are strictly Whites and Asian.
To strimline the chance of these two political structures to spend their loots during the election necessitated the federal government to introduce the policy of naira redesign in order to destroy the old currency in their vaults.
Conclusion
The issue of naira redesign and cash crunch in Nigeria is a deliberate attempt by the federal government to tackle corruption and cub vote buying during the recent general election. It’s a clear fact some politicians and political godfathers are in the decision making of Nigerians economy. These same people are the ones sponsoring terrorism and kidnapping in other to raise funds for their political career and to remain relevant in the society. Like an Intel from the American Defense that Nigerians are their own enemies. The power that be are cause of the problems Nigeria is facing today.
Recommendation
Now that the election is over, the federal government should direct the central bank of Nigeria to print more money and encourage the use of the old naira notes in order to address the current hardship cauaed by cash crunch in the country. Furthermore, Federal Government should know that fight against insurgency does need to affect the welfare of the masses, and therefore, all efforts to ensure the economy of the country is stable should be put in place.


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Francis Adegoke is an astute Publisher, Professional Journalist, PR Expert, Experienced E-commerce, Digital Media and Marketing Strategist.


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