Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, stated that the apex bank lacks the ability to create enough new naira notes.
This was said by Emefiele when he briefed the National Council of State’s emergency meeting on Friday.
Sources claim that the CBN governor informed the leaders that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (The Mint), which has capacity issues, is unable to create enough fresh notes to replace the outdated N200, N500, and 1,000 notes.
“The Mint has run out of papers to print N500 and 1,000 notes. They have placed orders with a German firm and De La Rue of the UK (for papers) but they have been placed on a long waiting list, so their orders cannot be met now.
“The Mint had received CBN’s request to print 70million copies of the new notes, totalling N126billion to be pumped into circulation by today (yesterday), The Mint doesn’t have the capacity.”
According to the source, Buhari was noncommittal and hardly spoke during the discussion before adjourning for the Muslims’ Jummah prayer.
However, the newly appointed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated that the President would make a decision.
The new and old naira notes have remained elusive seven days after President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to fix the cash crisis that plagued the nation as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) old notes swap policy and currency redesign.
Recall that the CBN launched the new notes in December as part of its efforts to combat corruption, terrorism, counterfeiting, and related crimes, with a deadline of January 31, 2023.
However, Nigerians have had difficulty getting the new notes amid scarcity and rising tension across the country, forcing the apex bank to extend the deadline by 10 days, which was due yesterday, February 10.
On February 3, President Buhari pleaded with Nigerians to give him seven days to address the cash constraint, which has developed into a nationwide issue as a result of the CBN’s policy.
When the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) visited the president to seek solutions to the cash shortage, which they claimed was endangering the administration’s successful record of reshaping the economy, the president made the call.
In a statement released by his spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari noted that he had seen television reports on cash shortages and hardship to local businesses and common people and provided assurances that the remaining seven days of the 10-day extension would be used to crack down on anything impeding its effective implementation.
Some state governors have filed numerous lawsuits before the Supreme Court contesting the apex bank’s policy due to the burden the policy has placed on the populace.
The federal government and CBN were instructed not to apply the policy until the supreme court had decided on the merits of the cases that were before it.
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