By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna
A Northern group under the aegis of the Concerned Northern Forum, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop the process of the new naira design in the interest of the nation.
The group which expressed its displeasure over the planned new naira note design in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday, noted that the nation’s economy is down, while adding that the redesigning of the currency is not the best solution to boost the nation’s economy.
The statement signed by the spokesperson of the group, Comrade Abdulsalam Moh’d Kazeem, explained that the naira has depreciated to the minimal value.
According to the statement, “the attention of the leadership of Concern Northern Forum has been called to a press conference organised by the current Central Bank governor in Abuja, where he stated that (CBN) has redesigned the #200, #500 and #1000 naira notes, effective December 15, 2022.”
“This to us is nothing but a sign of incompetency, our economy as a nation is down and our Naira has depreciated to the minimal value and all the Leadership of Central Bank of Nigeria could offer us as a solution to the above is to redesign our currency.
“The redesigning of the said currency will only cost our nation huge sums of money at the expense of tax payers. This is coming at a period when we are borrowing to fund significant parts of our annual budget and another significant parts of the borrowing goes to debt servicing and yet, the only solution the apex bank could offer is to redesign our currency.
“We are concerned as representative of our people and region, if we may ask; will the new design make our currency to gain value at the exchange rate market?
“Will it add value to the standard of living of the citizenry of our region and the nation at large? This are some questions begging for immediate answers! If no satisfactory answers are provided (as we already expect none) for the above questions, the apex bank should immediately stop the process of the new design or else it will be resisted by us in collaboration with other concern civil society organisations from within and outside our region.
“To set the record straight, look at the current exchange rate of a Naira to a dollar or pounds and you will agree with us that our currency have lost its value completely and what we need now are serious economic policies that will strengthen our Naira against dollar and pounds and anything short of this, is unacceptable by us. Because we believe would inflict more against the value of our revered naira.
“The decision to redesign the Naira is obviously to empower some certain individuals, consultant or contractors who are desperate to make something before the end of the current administration, this idea should be rejected by all and sundry at any rate, since it’s not in the interest of the nation and it will add no value to the current multiple economic challenges the nation is facing due to bad economic policies of the current central bank governor.”
The group therefore demanded that the apex bank should suspend the whole process of the new naira design, while also calling for the prosecution of those behind it.
According to the group in the statement, the failure of the apex bank to meet the demands of the group will lead to massive protest across northern region and Federal Capital Territory.