Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Saturday, backed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmad, who warned of “serious consequences on the value of the naira against other foreign currencies” if the Central Bank of Nigeria continues with its plan to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, described the planned redesign of the three banknotes as a money-guzzling gambit that will tumble the value of the naira and further destabilise the economy.
The group said the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele has again proved his incompetence through the sham plan best described as motion without movement. It consequently called on the National Assembly to move for the impeachment of the apex bank governor as President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sack him and put an end to Nigeria’s fiscal woes.
Emefiele had on Wednesday said the CBN will issue redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, effective December 15, 2022, while the new and existing currencies will remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023.
However, in an absurd but not-too-surprising development, the finance minister on Friday said the CBN governor did not carry her ministry along in the planned redesign of the three banknotes. “The policy as rolled out at this time portends serious consequences on the value of the naira against other foreign currencies,” Ahmad told the Senate Committee on the 2023 budget defence session.
In a swift rebuttal, the CBN through its spokesman, Osita Nwanisob, expressed “surprise at the minister’s claim, stressing that the CBN remains a very thorough institution that follows due process in its policy actions”.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “Nigeria is indeed troubled with a so-disorganised Federal Government to the extent that the finance minister now openly disagrees with the CBN governor over the country’s cardinal fiscal policies! No doubt, this portends danger to the nation’s economy and financial management.
“The discordance and embarrassing public spat between Ahmad and Emefiele demonstrate the lack of national planning and inter-agency and inter-ministerial collaboration of top echelons of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is not the first of such disgraceful feuds amongst Buhari’s ministries and agencies. For months now, the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Force have engaged in a protracted dispute over the recruitment of police constables. In April 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics took to Twitter to fight dirty with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige for faulting its employment statistics. The examples are endless under Buhari yet his it-does-not-concern-me pose.
“HURIWA dismisses the redesigning of the naira as a money-guzzling gambit that will tumble the value of the naira to the dollars as seen at the moment already after the argument by the finance minister.
“We call on the National Assembly to stop the CBN governor or impeach him by 2/3 majority to compel Buhari to sack him.”
October 29, 2022
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.