The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has distanced herself from the planned naira redesign, which was announced by the Central Bank governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, 48 hours ago.
The Minister, who disowned the policy, said it doesn’t receive the blessing of the Ministry of Finance and warned of the dire consequences.
Reacting to questions from Senator Bamidele Opeyemi representing Ekiti Central Senatorial district on Friday at the National Assembly, where she appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance for the 2023 budget defence of the ministry, the minister maintained that the policy may be good, but coming at the wrong time.
Opeyemi said the pronouncement may have triggered a rise in naira to US dollars in terms of value, given that naira has jumped from N740 to N788 to a US dollar due to rush in exchange of stashed funds.
Opeyemi said: “To me, the policy may be well conceived, but the timing going by realities on ground is very wrong as the Naira may fall to as low as N1,000 to a US dollar before January 31, 2023 fixed for full implementation of the policy”, he said.
Responding, the Minister said, she read the news in the media and has nothing to do with it.
“Distinguished Senators, we were not consulted at the Ministry of Finance by the CBN on the planned Naira redesigning and cannot comment on it as regards merits or otherwise.
“However, as a privileged Nigerian at the top of Nigeria’s fiscal management, the policy as rolled out at this time, portends serious consequences on the value of Naira to other foreign currencies.
“I will, however, appeal to this Committee to invite the CBN governor for required explanations as regards merits of the planned policy and rightness or otherwise of its implementation now,” she said