Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele has disclosed that the naira redesign was a directive from one of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari’s former aide.
Emefiele said the former presidential aide gave him the directive in September 2022 during his visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
This was contained in a report by the Special Investigator on CBN and Related Entities, Jim Obazee which was submitted to President Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu had commissioned Obaze to investigate the CBN operations under Emefiele.
Recall that CBN under Emefiele had redesigned N1,000, N500, N200 and N100 notes.
Explaining why the naira denomination was redesigned, Buhari had said the need to fight corruption and insecurity headlong, including controlling inflationary trend partly necessitated the decision to redesign the currency denominations.
Obaze’s report reads partly: “The Naira Redesign was not approved by the Board of CBN and President Muhammadu Buhari in accordance with the law. Buhari only tagged along. Sometimes in September 2022, the erstwhile Governor of the CBN claimed that during his visit to the Presidential Villa, one of the presidential aides told him to go and consider redesigning the Naira.
“On 6th of October, 2022, Emefiele wrote Buhari seeking approval to redesign and reconfigure N1,000, N500, N200 and N100 notes. Buhari approved the proposal same day. But Buhari approved the currency be printed in Nigeria.
“On that 6th October 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari approved Emefiele’s request and directed that he should redesign and reconfigure the four denominations of the Naira notes as prayed, but should print them locally.
“Emefiele did not consult with the management of the CBN or seek any recommendation from the Board of the CBN as required by Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007.
“Emefiele did not seek the recommendation of the Board of the CBN nor revert to former President Muhammadu Buhari to inform him nor seek his presidential approval for the new redesigns and the fact that he is now recommending only three denominations
“Emefiele took the redesigns, a mere change of colour to De La Rue in UK for a fee of £205,000. Only N1,000, N500 and N200 notes were redesigned.”