CNPP, EFCC Praise CBN for Change of Naira Notes

October 27, 2022

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to change the look of the Naira notes, the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations, has been applauded by the Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Mr Willy Ezugwu, CNPP said only intending vote-buyers and beneficiaries of proceeds of crimes will kick against the move.

According to the umbrella association of all registered political parties and political associations in Nigeria, “the effort of the CBN to control the amount of money in circulation, where N2.7 trillion out of the N3.3 trillion currency in circulation was said to be outside the vault of commercial banks across the country, and are found to supposedly be held by members of the public, is of high risk for the country’s economy and her internal security.”

“It is, therefore, obvious that many politicians, especially since 2015, amassed illicit wealth and depleted the national commonwealth to the extent that the currency in circulation has more than doubled since 2015, rising from N1.46 trillion in December 2015 to N3.2 trillion as of September 2022, according to the CBN data,” it noted.

“The CNPP is glad that the timing for this Naira notes redesign is right as there is no better time than in an election year, especially where politicians have made vote-buying an alternative to convincing the electorates through their track records and capacity to govern beyond rhetoric as well as a commitment to selling the manifestos of their political parties during campaigns,” the group stated.

CNPP called on all security agencies, including the Department of State Service (DSS), and the EFCC, to redouble efforts to reduce insecurity and electoral corruption by placing all politicians contesting in the 2023 general elections on perpetual surveillance.

“We urge the anti-graft units of all security agencies and commissions to use the opportunity created by the new and existing currencies exchange window from December to January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies shall cease to be a legal tender, to monitor illicit campaign financing, money laundering, terror financing, ransom to hostage takers and drug barons,” it said.

The group said “the CBN should ban bank managers from any form of home delivery of cash to citizens and corporate organizations until after February 1, 2023, to ensure that the country reaps the gains of the CBN monetary policy.”

Also reacting to the development, the EFCC, through its chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, described the move as “a well-considered and timely response” to the challenges of currency management, which has negatively impacted the country’s monetary policy and security imperatives.”

“The EFCC, the CBN and some other regulators in the financial sector have worked closely in the recent past to determine how best to stabilize the country’s monetary policy environment. It is heart-warming that the CBN has demonstrated courage in taking this bold decision which I believe will bring sanity to the currency management situation in Nigeria,” he said.

He called on operators in the Nigerian financial services sector, especially deposit money banks and bureau de change operators, to work within the guidelines provided by the CBN to ensure the seamless withdrawal of the old currency.

Mr Bawa said his agency would monitor the process to ensure that unscrupulous players, currency speculators, and their cohorts among the BDCs do not undermine the exercise, tasking banks to be alive to their reporting obligations and not assist unscrupulous customers in laundering suspected proceeds of crimes through their system.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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