Presidential Candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Malik Ado-Ibrahim on Sunday, said the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was ‘badly’ executed.
Gatekeepers News reports that the CBN had October announced the redesign of N200, N500, and N1000. The apex bank had said advised customers to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they would cease to be legal tender.
However, on Sunday, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the phase-out to February 10 following several complaints that many Nigerians could not access the new naira notes.
Speaking on the development during an interview on Channels Television, the YPP candidate said the naira redesign policy looks “too political”.
He said the execution of the policy did not give confidence to Nigerians and investors, and that the CBN was “ill-prepared” for the policy.
“It is badly executed — a great idea. Execution is everything. It looks too political and in that, you don’t give confidence to the people,” he said.
“I will harp on the idea of confidence. In a country as big as Nigeria, Nigerians need confidence, even our neighbours need confidence.
“The Nigerian currency on the West African coast is the major currency after the dollar and euro. We are the third.
“All these monies sitting in circulation help us but we are not taking it as part of our strength, it becomes our weakness.
“Now our people are trading in CFA. Nigerian currency has dominated the West African business community for decades.
“It costs money to print money. This is not a free exercise. We did minting and printing. It was so ill-prepared that we did not change anything, just the colour and that is not enough to give confidence.”
Ado-Ibrahim criticised what he described as the non-involvement of Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, in the redesign policy.
He said the policy looks like a “show” between Emefiele and Buhari, noting that the fiscal and monetary policies must align.
“We don’t see the minister of finance. It looks like a one-man deal or trade between him and his boss, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Where is your Minister?” he queried.