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Naira Redesign: Economic or Political Expediency?
By December 15, 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will introduce the new redesigned Naira notes in denominations of 200, 500 and 1,000. Amidst speculations over what the real intent of Government is, there is the ongoing bickering between the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed. Dr Sam Amadi, Jide Ojo, Jefferson Uwoghiren and Emeka Ejikonye interrogate the issues surrounding the exercise, including its import and the cost of printing the new notes
Economic and Legal Issues on the Redesign of the Naira
Dr Sam Amadi and Victor Opatola
Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a statement that it has concluded plans to redesign the Naira. The CBN Governor cited money hoarding, inflation, and counterfeiting as major reasons for its unusual decision. The CBN claims that about N2.73 trillion of the N3.23 trillion currency in circulation in Nigeria, is outside the bank vaults. This is about 85% of the total money in circulation. Also, the Naira is not as secured as it ought to be, as it is easier to counterfeit theN500 and N1000 denominations.
This policy has elicited serious debate amongst Economists, Lawyers, and other policy experts. Many of them hold the view that this policy change holds no significant economic benefits for the people, and is a distraction in the midst of serious economic crises buffeting. The Minister of Finance, appearing before the National Assembly, disowned the policy and slammed it as valueless in fiscal and monetary terms. But, the President has reaffirmed his approval of the policy and its benefits, as a tool to control inflation and fight corruption. The question is whether this policy is the right policy at this time, considering its costs and benefits.
Costs and Benefits Analysis of the Policy
The CBN regulates monetary policy. It is a quintessential regulatory agency. The benchmark for regulatory decisions like it is proposing with regard to the redesigning of the currency, is that the regulator can only act if the benefits of the proposed policy are more than the costs. A good cost-benefit analysis will include social and political costs and benefits, not just financial and commercial costs and benefits.
We should note that, money plays a crucial role in a country’s economy. It determines such things as the general price levels, aggregate national income, production and productivity, labour and capital employment levels, exchange rates. and the balance of payments.
It is agreed that redesigning currencies could curb counterfeiting, especially where the existing design is very worn and its security can be easily bypassed. It is also a fact that, redesigning and printing of new currencies will cost billions of Naira of public funds. CBN should show through credible statistics, the percentage of counterfeit to each Naira, to warrant this design and printing of new Naira. The CBN in its most recent report, 2020 Currency Report, states that a total of 67,265 pieces of counterfeit notes with a nominal value of N56.83 million was confiscated in 2020, indicating a 20.80% decrease in volume and 12.18% decrease in value, compared with 84,934 pieces valued at N64.71 million in 2019. The Global standard for number of counterfeits per million, is 100. The ratio of counterfeit notes to volume of banknotes in circulation was 13 pieces per million in 2020, compared to 20 pieces per million banknotes in 2019. This shows that the issue of currency counterfeit, is not as rampant as to warrant a currency redesign.
The CBN claims that it is also redesigning the Naira, due to hoarding. This claim should be scrutinised because, currently, Naira-Dollar devaluation is so high CBN has to employ artificial valuation. Between 2021 and 2022, Naira has been devalued at least three times, and with the look of things, there is a likelihood of further devaluation, coupled with an increasing inflation rate, which means that the purchasing power of Naira is weakened. It makes little economic logic that a currency whose value is highly decreasing is being massively hoarded, as claimed by CBN. Those who have the capacity to hoard such huge amounts are the political class, and would also have had the capacity to convert it to Dollars. The conversion argument further makes the claim of the CBN Governor, that a redesign in currency will hamper ransom payment, not altogether convincing. Naira redesign in itself will not remedy rising inflation in this country, especially given the fact that this policy has no way to appreciate the value of Naira in the real sense. It could actually increase inflation, as those with loads of Naira unlawfully acquired could launder them through luxury purchases, or forex transactions that could inflate the economy.
The CBN should scrutinise its many ruinous policies that led to this inflation, such as it’s increased penchant to print money for the Federal Government, it’s direct financing of Nigeria’s budget and violating the CBN Act by exceeding the 5% stipulation of ways and means Law, and printing money for State allocations. The currency redesign exercise is not costless, neither is it cheap. It will cost billions and billions of taxpayers Naira. The redesigning, the logistics, and printing will not be cheap. In these days of dwindling revenue, high budget deficit, and high debt rate; the money that will fund this is not cheap. According to CBN report, the total cost incurred on printing of banknotes in 2020 amounted to N58,618.50 million; this is the amount of printing an existing design; now let’s imagine the cost of printing a redesign and it’s logistics. So, we need a prudency and relevance test to show, through reasonably justifiable and verifiable means, that this is an efficient and effective policy.
The Power of CBN to Make this Monetary Policy Decision
By virtue of the CBN Act, the Central Bank is designed to be independent and non-partisan in monetary policy management. There is a big debate about whether the Central Bank should be yoked to the government, in view of the importance of monetary policy to strategic economic development. The Free Market (FM) argues in support of a monetary policy institution, totally free from the control of partisan politicians. The Governed Market model (GM) wants monetary policy to be subordinated to strategic economic policy choices of elected officials. Nigeria chose the FM model, and wrote it into the CBN Act. It gives the Board of Governors the power to make monetary policy, without the control of elected or appointed partisan political officials. It is good to note that, the only stipulation of the CBN Act on the design of Naira is the mandatory approval of the President under Section 19. There is no legal burden on CBN to inform or get the approval of the Ministry of Finance. But, for the purpose of economic coherence, the decision and approval of the President ought to be mentioned at the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, because as much as it is the redesigning of the currency is a CBN role, the decision to redesign the currency forms part of the Federal Government’s monetary policy and will have far-reaching economic and social impacts. The lack of government-wide communication, betrays a dysfunctionality of the Buhari administration
Section 20 of the CBN Act empowers the Bank to call in any of it’s currency upon payment of face value upon reasonable notice, while Section 18(d) empowers the Bank to destroy such currencies withdrawn from circulation. The role of Banks in the transition is shown in Section 19. Banks are mandated to deal only in legal tenders. Their role is that of exchange, and facilitation of payment in exchange of value.
Case on Arabic Inscription on Naira note
The fact that the Naira bears an Arabic inscription has become a contentious issue, in view of Nigeria’s religious pluralism. The point is that Arabic is the language of Islam, and therefore, that inscription “advances… religion in its principal or primary effect” and therefore, fosters “an excessive entanglement with religion”, as propounded by US Justice Blackman in Allegheny County v Greater Pittsburgh ACLU 109 U.S. 493 (1988), This decision was based on the disestablishment clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, that is similar to Section 10 of our Constitution.
This matter is now subject of a judicial determination in the case of Malcolm Omirhobo v CBN & 3 Ors FHC/L/CS/3/2020, In this case, a legal practitioner sued the CBN, the Federal Government, the Nigerian President and the Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF), praying the court to declare as unlawful the provisions of Section 53(1) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), CAP B3, LFN, 2004, which absolves the Government and CBN of any legal action in connection to exercising their mandate of printing, issuing, supplying and circulating Naira notes bearing Arabic inscriptions as legal tender for a secular State that has English as its official language, and thereby, robbing the courts of jurisdiction to entertain such case.
“He wants the court to declare that by virtue of Section 6(6)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the Plaintiff’s action for the interpretation of Sections 10 and 55 of the 1999 Constitution, as they relate to the powers of the Defendants to issue legal tender with Arabic inscriptions. The Plaintiff also wants the court to declare that the Constitution is supreme and a binding force on all the Defendants by virtue of Section 1(1).“Section 53(1) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act, CAP B3, LFN, which ousts the jurisdiction of the court to entertain this suit, is inconsistent with the provisions of Section 6(6)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which gives the plaintiff right to access the court for the interpretation of the Constitution and therefore, by virtue of Section 1(3) and 315 (3) of the Constitution, null and void to the extent of the inconsistency”, He relied on the true letters and spirit of Section 55 of the Constitution, Nigeria’s official language is English, as well as Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba in special circumstances.”.
While this matter is still pending in court, it amounts to contempt of the court, for CBN to go ahead and print Arabic inscription on the Nigeria currency. In the case of IWUJI & ORS v GOVERNOR OF IMO STATE & ORS (2014) LPELR-22824(CA), the Court of Appeal held that: “it is trite law that once parties have submitted their disputes to the Court for determination, none of the parties is allowed to do any act or omission that would over-reach the interest of the other pending the determination of the suit, and if any of the parties does anything to the contrary, the Court has the inherent power to set aside such act which tends to ridicule the Court. Therefore, where a party is aware of a pending court process, and whether the Court has not given a specific injunctive order, parties are bound to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the court process. They should on no account, resort to self-help.”
It is clear that once the court is seised of a matter, no party has the right to take the matter into his own hands. It is a reprehensible conduct for any party to an action or appeal pending in court, to proceed to take the law into his hands, without any specific order of the court, and to do any act which would preempt the result of the action.
Notwithstanding the merits of the arguments about the propriety of having Arabic inscriptions on the Naira, since a suit is pending before the court on this question, it will be a contempt of the Court if the CBN goes ahead to put Arabic inscription on the redesigned currency, as the Governor of the CBN reportedly assured before the determination of the case in court.
Dr Sam Amadi and Victor Opatola, Convener and Secretary of the Association of Law and Economics Studies (ALES) respectively
Issues in the 2022 Redesigning of the Naira by CBN
On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, at a media briefing, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele announced the redesigning of some of banknotes. He hinged the Apex Bank’s decision on the powers conferred on it by Section 2(b) of the CBN Act 2007. According to Emefiele, currency management by CBN has faced a number of challenges for some time now. This includes: Significant hoarding of banknotes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 85% of currency in circulation are outside the vaults of commercial banks. At the end of September 2022, available data at the CBN indicate that N2.73 trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currency in circulation, was outside the vaults of Commercial Banks across the country; and supposedly held by the public. This, to my own mind, is indicative that Nigerians have not fully accepted the cashless policy of the Central Bank.
Other challenges are: Worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes, with attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability; Increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting, evidenced by several security reports. Although global best practice is for central banks to redesign, produce and circulate new local legal tender every 5–8 years, our existing series of the Naira has not been redesigned in the last 20 years.
CBN believes that the redesign of the currency will help deepen our drive to entrench a cashless economy, as it will be complemented by increased minting of our eNaira. This will further rein in the currency outside the banking system into the banking system, thereby making monetary policy more efficacious. Also, in view of the prevailing level of security situation in the country, the CBN is convinced that the incidents of terrorism and kidnapping would be minimised, as access to the large volume of money outside the banking system used as source of funds for ransom payments will begin to dry up.
In line with provisions of Sections 2(b), 18(a), and 19(a) and (b) of the CBN Act 2007, the Management of CBN has sought and obtained the approval of the President to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of banknotes at N200, N500, and N1,000 levels. CBN said it has finalised arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation from December 15, 2022, after its launch by President Muhammadu Buhari. The new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies shall cease to be legal tender. For the purpose of this transition from existing to new notes, bank charges for cash deposits have been suspended.
Finance Minister Kicks
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has kicked against plans by CBN to redesign the Naira notes. She said the Ministry was not aware of the plans, and only knew about it through the media. She said this on Friday, October 28, 2022 when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance for the Ministry’s budget defence session. A former Deputy Governor of CBN, Kingsley Moghalu, has however, expressed his support for the Bank’s decision to redesign some of the country’s currency notes. He said the Bank does not need the permission of the Finance Ministry or any other agency of government, before making such a decision. Moghalu made the comment in an interview with Channels Television on Sunday, October 30, 2022. Many are however, of the view that the CBN should have consulted the Finance Ministry, since both organisations are serving same government.
The Real Purpose and Intent of the Redesign
Many financial experts are of the opinion that the rationale given for the redesigning of the country’s banknotes are both economic and political, although the CBN only dwelt on the economic reasons for the exercise. Many citizens have questioned the timing of the proposal which is on the eve of 2023 General Election. For instance, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has described the proposed plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign Naira notes as political, noting that the move is a ploy by the All Progressives Congress-led government to sway voters ahead of the 2023 general election.
Politically speaking, it is believed that many candidates and political parties who have kept humongous sums of the nation’s currency in fireproof vaults in their homes, in overhead and underground water storage tanks and on the farms, will be forced to bring such into the bank vaults to exchange for the new banknotes. In the process, the banks will alert anti-corruption agencies, such as the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, which is the central national agency responsible for the receipt of disclosures from reporting organisations such as banks. The agency will upon receipt of reports of the expected huge lodgements, go after such account owners to ask them about the source of the money, to establish that it is not proceeds of crime. It is also believed that even if the deposited funds are not proceeds of money laundering or financial crimes, such depositors may not be able to withdraw such lump sum from their account on request. There are fears that a policy may be issued to peg the amount of cash withdrawal any individual or corporate body can withdraw at a go, thereby forcing them to go cashless via electronic transfer of funds which will leave a trail of bank transactions which politicians who may want to indulge in vote-buying, will not like.
There are insinuations that, while opposition political parties and candidates may not be allowed to withdraw huge cash for the campaign expenses, candidates of the ruling APC may have unfettered access to the new banknotes. A case of double standard of the law being for the enemy, exemptions being for the friends.
Whether political or economic, there are fears that the criminals such as kidnappers, money launderers and the counterfeiters who may be the prime target of this redesigned notes are clever and smart, and may be able to circumvent being trapped. For instance, many of these economic saboteurs are alleged to be using their slush funds to buy real estate, exotic vehicles, jewellery and ornaments, with the hope of disposing these assets off after the new banknotes would have effectively been in circulation. Many others are converting their Naira into foreign currencies such as Dollar, Euros and British Pound Sterling.
The PUNCH newspaper of Thursday, November 3, 2022 reported that 87 Foreign Exchange dealers in Abuja and Lagos were arrested, with their phone seized by operatives of EFCC who carried out a raid on the Bureau De Change operators in the two cities. Though no reason had been given for the raids, the EFCC operation, it was gathered, was targeted at tracking illicit funds from terrorists, bandits and politicians who might want to convert their stash in a desperate move to beat the redesign of the Naira announced by the CBN. EFCC Chairman, AbdulRasheed Bawa, has warned the forex dealers against serving as cash couriers for criminals. They have been ordered to ask for proper documentation of their clients under the Know Your Customer principle.
In spite of this clampdown on forex operators, not a few Nigerian are of the opinion that even bank officials may be the ones that will take advantage of this situation to make some cool cash for themselves, as they know the rules and also know how to cleverly circumvent and sabotage them. For instance, despite the Know Your Customer principle and mandatory Bank Verification Number, some influential Nigerians still find it easy to transact illegal businesses in banks, because of unscrupulous bank workers who aid and abet them.
Long and Short Term Impact on the Economy
The short term impact of the proposed exercise on the economy has been unsavoury, with the Naira slumping against foreign currencies, especially the Dollar. It was gathered that last week, the Naira depreciated further against Dollar by exchanging for about N850 – 1$. This is unprecedented! However, I am of the considered view that if there is no sabotage and the exercise is carried out patriotically, in the long run, CBN will achieve the noble objectives of the exercise.
Cost of the Redesign and its Desirability at this Point
CBN has not, and is most unlikely, to disclose the cost of redesigning our banknotes. The speculation is that, the amount is humongous. More so, as it may actually have been contracted to a foreign firm and not the Nigeria Printing and Minting Company, because of the high security features in the currencies in order to make it extremely difficult to be counterfeited. Questions have also been asked, as to whether this printing job was captured in the CBN budget for 2022.
Arabic Inscription on the Naira Note
It is noteworthy that, there is a pending suit against the CBN on the Arabic inscription on the Naira note. The Cable newspaper in a November 10, 2022 publication reported that the CBN has opposed a suit before the Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking to remove Ajami (Arabic) inscriptions on the Naira notes. CBN told the court that it will cost a lot of money to discard existing notes, and print new ones without Ajami. It also said Ajami is not a symbol or mark of Islam, but an inscription to help non-English speakers who are Ajami literate. The Apex Bank made the submission in a counter-affidavit to a suit filed by Malcolm Omirhobo, a Lagos-based Lawyer, before Mohammed Liman, presiding Judge over the case. The redesigning of the Naira banknotes therefore, presents a golden opportunity to lay this controversy to rest by removing the Ajami inscriptions.
I am of the considered view that there are inherent gains in the redesigning of the Naira bank notes, provided there is faithful implementation. However, there’s need for a lot of public enlightenment on this. There have been calls that 45 days is too short, for the exchange of old notes for new ones. There’s also the question of whether those who do not have bank accounts, could make over-the-counter exchange of old for new notes. Many rural dwellers have also raised concerns about the stress of having to go to their banks, which are far from where they reside.
Jide Ojo, Development Consultant, Author and Public Affairs Analyst
Naira Redesign: Ill-Conceived
Nothing best illustrates the tumbling precarious financial situation of this country. as the egregious decision of government to redesign our currency notes, amidst our unflattering image as a funny country where corrupt people often adopt the language of reform to confuse decision makers, donor agencies and poor helpless citizens.
In announcing this new financial policy recently, the CBN Governor placed reliance on Section 2(b), 18(a) and 19(a) & (b) of the C.B.N. Act, 2007, having claimed Presidential approval, and informed Nigerians that “the integrity of a local tender, the efficiency of its supply, as well as its efficacy in the conduct of monetary policy, are some of the hall marks of a great Central Bank”.
“In recent times, however currency management has faced several daunting challenges that have continued to ground in scale and sophistication, with attendant and unintended consequences for the integrity of both the CBN and the community: these challenges primarily include significant hoarding of bank notes by members of the public, with statistics showing that 80% of currency in circulation is outside the CBN; growing scarcity of clean and fit bank notes, resulting in a negative perception of the CBN, and an increased risk to finance stability; the increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting.”
The express and implied reasoning behind the CBN Governor’s decision to redesign our currency, is to abate hoarding of 80% of Nigeria Currency. So simplistic in conception, and pedestrian in explanation. Granted that the CBN has the legal right of intervention in the financial policies of the country, the stated reasons for this recent initiative, which is that Nigerians are hoarding over N2.7 trillion from the financial system; with over N600 billion left in the vaults of commercial banks is revealing, but a ludicrous and spurious a claim. Nigerians should take this allegation seriously. In the past six years, commercial banks in Nigeria, have introduced measures to track movements of cash in and out of banks with attendant limits, with the use of modern technological support. Yet, to date, there is not one reported incident of depleting cash base, due to hoarding by a specific customer.
The implication is that, for all the stated reasons for Government’s action, there are other unstated reasons for this decision, which should be interrogated by all patriotic Nigerians, because it is for these unstated reasons, Nigerians have lost faith and confidence in the ability of the CBN Governor to extricate the country, from the present financial conundrum we are in.
Since the disgraceful exit of Mrs Kemi Adeosun, and her unfortunate replacement with the current Minister, there have been huge leakages of Government funds, including the huge diversion of workers’ pensions. All Government policies designed to abate these unhealthy practices, have been perverted and diverted to achieve other private goals. Our Government should come clean on this financial problem, and stop chasing imaginary solutions. Nobody is hoarding our increasingly useless Naira. Nigerians are simply putting their hopes in foreign currencies, and changing their Naira to same. Reflating the depleted cash bases of our commercial banks, the costly route of currency redesign won’t change nor address the deluge now loading.
Jefferson Uwoghiren, Constitutional Lawyer, Benin, Edo State
CBN and Its Plan to Redesign Denominations of Our Naira Notes: A Masterstroke?
Emeka Ejikonye Ph.D
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shocked Nigerians with the sudden announcement of the policy initiative to redesign the 200, 500, and 1,000 denominations of our currency, the Naira. Two of the reasons adduced for this major policy initiative is that the action is long overdue, and to checkmate the frequency of the acts of counterfeiting in the face of the tremendous improvements in technology. Indeed, the announcement hit Nigerians like a thunderbolt with attendant varied reactions, depending on what side of the divide one finds him or herself. Condemnation and vindication of the policy, has grown steadily in leaps and bounds. Both opponents and supporters alike have gone to town, shouting from the roof-tops. On my part, I would rather hinge my position on this policy in terms of careful observation and analysis of both the pros and cons of the arguments posited thus far, and then proceed to weigh the arguments against the backdrop of the sustainable development and existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity in the long-term.
Arguments Against the Decision
Thus, on the one hand, antagonists of the policy argue that it will further depreciate the value of our already battered Naira, and exacerbate the excruciating inflationary trend that has continued to impoverish the mass of our citizenry. Their argument is that the policy would trigger a mad rush for foreign currencies and thereby, further deplete the value of our local currency, and increase the already biting rate of inflation to which the mass of ordinary Nigerians has been subjected. They also point to the high cost of printing the new denominations at this point in time, when our economy is in dire straits. Indeed, credence to this line of argument immediately manifested in the sudden drop of the exchange-rate of our currency to almost N800 to $1 in the parallel market after the announcement. There is almost every indication that this exchange-rate may hit N1000 to $1 before the end of this year.
The Federal Ministry of Finance seemed to be leading the pack of the opponents of this CBN policy, when the Minister suddenly announced that the Ministry was not aware of this major fiscal policy initiative of the Government. However, the CBN promptly reacted to reiterate that it secured the due approval of Mr President before the announcement, and the Presidency immediately confirmed this to put paid to any allusion to the illegality of the policy initiative. Indeed, the fact of the affirmation and support by the Presidency and high-confidentiality of the entire process leading up to the public announcement, lends credibility to the resolve and tight-knit collaboration between Godwin Emefiele and his team within the CBN and the innermost circle within the Buhari Presidency, to see the policy through without leakage to the public. This must be commended.
Arguments in Support of the Decision
On the opposing corner, Nigerians who support this CBN monetary policy initiative argue that it is only those Nigerians who kept their money outside the banking system that must have cause to worry. They are the ones that would have the need to rush to offload this excess cash, that would trigger the potential of huge amounts of the Naira chasing after the Dollar. The supporters of the CBN move query the rationale behind the inclination of some Nigerians to stash large amounts of our currency outside the banking system, in the face of a contemporary global push towards cashless transactions. This group point to the statistics which shows that over 80% of our currency is buried inside the private vaults of our public servants, politicians, drug barons and other criminal elements who will do everything possible to prevent the eagle eyes of security agencies from prying into their ill-gotten wealth. Indeed, we have seen the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) hail and commend the CBN for this major policy feat.
Particularly, the proponents of this move to redesign the Naira, point to its positive impact and advantage to the forthcoming general elections in February, 2023. They point to the recent recourse of our politicians to vote-buying, in the face of the effective check on their other forms of election-rigging introduced by the Electoral Act 2022. These include the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and electronic transmission of results, amongst other innovative benefits of the Act to our electoral system. Thus, this group of Nigerians argue that the redesigning of the higher denominations of the Naira, will effectively pull the rug from under the feet of these unscrupulous politicians who have weaponised poverty in our society, through their State-capture of our common wealth. It will checkmate the plans of these politicians to deploy the huge amounts of ill-gotten cash they have stashed up in their private vaults, for inducing the mass of poor Nigerians to vote against their conscience and free-will. The product of the policy to redesign higher denominations of the Naira would, therefore, be free-will of our people to make their choices without any form of unethical inducement, fairness of the electoral process to all the candidates and general credibility of the elections. This way, the votes of the majority of Nigerians will really count to usher into the realm of our governance, popular selfless candidates who will genuinely serve the citizenry towards the long-term sustenance of our social advancement.
I cannot but agree more with the arguments of the proponents of this CBN policy to redesign the 200, 500 and 1000 denominations of our Naira notes. No doubt, the policy, if successfully implemented, will effectively demobilise the ill-gotten cash at the disposal of these heartless politicians and make them utterly useless. And, certainly, in the short-term, Nigerians are bound to suffer the consequences of the rise in the prices of general commodities. But, come to think of it, have we not developed a thick-skin to suffering in this country? If what it will take to get us to Uhuru and El Dorado is a little more suffering, I honestly prefer that we endure it. To this extent, I must commend Mr Emefiele and his team at the CBN for this fiscal policy feat. It is indeed, a Masterstroke. My only apprehension for now, is whether the team will persevere to withstand the anticipated pressure from the unscrupulous elements in our midst, to see to the full implementation and realisation of the long-term benefits of the initiative. Kudos CBN!!!
Emeka Ejikonye Ph.D, Specialist in Public Budgeting, Abuja