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Why Monetary Policy Rate was Increased – CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says its Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to increase Monetary Policy Rate is to control rising inflation.

CBN’s Director, Monetary Policy Department, Hassan Mahmoud, said this on Wednesday at a post-MPC briefing tagged: “Unveiling Facts behind the Figures’’.

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The MPC, in its 287th meeting on Tuesday, had increased the MPR by 150 basis points, from 14 per cent to 15.5 per cent.

The MPR is the baseline interest rate in an economy on which other interest rates within that economy are built on.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had said that the decision was informed by persistent rise in inflation rate and fragile economic growth.

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READ ALSO: How Nigerians Can Access eNaira – CBN

According to Mahmud, the MPC got to a point where stringent measures have to be taken to control inflation.

He said that the committee took cognisance of global as well as local economic issues in arriving at its policy decisions.

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We raised the MPR because it is necessary to do so. The quantity of money in the system was too much for the economy to absorb,’’ he said.

He said that monetary policy tools were meant to deal with short term risks, adding that the idea was to make the cost of funds expensive to drive down inflation.

According to Mahmud, the stimuluses that governments across the world provided for their citizens during COVID-19 increased the ability of people to spend, thereby, creating challenges with global supply.

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“A lot of households and small businesses were injected with stimuluses; the U.S did two trillion dollars, Nigeria did about five trillion Naira, these increased the ability of people to spend.

“But the supply side could not meet up with the demand because that volume of injection was far more than the regular intake for those economies, this made prices to go up,’’ he said.

He also blamed the Russian-Ukraine war, as well as the resurgence of COVID-19 in China as responsible for rise in global inflationary trend.

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“That region accounts for more than 50 per cent of global commodity supply and 38 per cent of global oil and gas supply.

“The war resulted to some shortages which made prices to go up.

“Then the COVID-19 lockdown in China. The country is the largest importer of commodities across the globe,’’ he said.

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Speaking on the various economic intervention initiatives by the apex bank and the prospect of recouping the funds, Dr Yusuf Yila, director, Development Finance Department, said about nine trillion Naira had been invested in the various development finance interventions.

READ ALSO: Printing Of N60b: Obaseki Dares FG, Says ‘Stop Monetary Rascality’

He, however, said that all the monies would be recovered.

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According to Yila, N9.3 trillion has been invested in various development finance interventions, out of which N3.7 trillion has been repaid.

“Most of the loans are still under moratorium, especially those in manufacturing. Manufacturing forms the largest part of our portfolio, about 31 per cent,’’ he said.

He, however, said that one of the best-performing interventions was the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, where out of the N800 billion that was lent out, about N700 billion had been repaid.

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Yila said that through the flagship agriculture intervention scheme, the Anchor Borrowers Programme, one trillion Naira had been lent out to smallholder farmers, while about N400 billion has so far been recovered.

According to him, the department will restrict intervention to critical sectors like the SMEs and the electricity sector for now.

Speaking on the depreciation of the Naira, the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mrs Ozoemena Nnaji, said the apex bank was taking steps to firm up the currency.

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Nnaji said that demand for foreign exchange outstripped supply currency, adding that the CBN was doing a lot to mop up supply.

“One of the steps is the Naira for dollar remittance drive, which has resulted to a huge increase in diaspora remittances.

READ ALSO: CBN Reviews Operations Of NIBBS Instant Payments System, Others

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“There is also the RT200 bringing in forex. Repatriation has gone up from 20 million dollars in the first quarter to about 600 million dollars in the second quarter.

“In this third quarter we are looking at more than one billion dollars of repatriated inflows,’’ she said.
NAN

 

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They’ve Hidden Plans – Mixed Reactions Trail CBN’s New Naira Notes

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Nigerians have shared divergent opinions on the recently released new banknotes by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Wednesday announced the entry of the new notes into the country’s financial space.

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The CBN boss, while explaining the features of the redesigned notes, told State House Correspondents that it was in line with global best practices, noting that it was mandatory for the naira to be redesigned and re-issued every five to eight years.

The last time the bank redesigned the naira was in 2014 when it changed the design of just the 100 naira note to commemorate Nigeria’s centenary.

According to him, it is regrettable that the naira has not been redesigned for the past 19 years owing to lack of political will from previous administrations.

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“In the past, I have to confess that attempts by the CBN to redesign and re-issue the naira notes have been resisted. It is only President Muhammadu Buhari that has exhibited the courage to do so,” he stated.

Emefiele said it was the mandate of the CBN to redesign and re-issue the notes, stressing that the exercise would become a regular trend after five to eight years.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has in recent years undertaken the redesigning of her currency for various reasons.

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READ ALSO: Why I Approved Redesign Of Naira Notes – Buhari

For instance, in response to the expansion in economic activities and to facilitate an efficient payments system, the ₦100, ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 banknotes were introduced in December 1999, November 2000, April 2001 and October 2005 respectively.

On 28th February, 2007, as part of the economic reforms, ₦20 was issued for the first time in a polymer substrate, while the ₦50, ₦10 and ₦5 banknotes, as well as ₦1 and 50K coins were reissued in new designs, and the ₦2 coin was introduced.

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On 30th September, 2009, the redesigned ₦50, ₦10 and ₦5 banknotes were converted to polymer substrate following the successful performance of the ₦20 (polymer) banknote. Thus, all lower denomination banknotes were now printed in the polymer substrate.

Speaking on the development, Godwin Emefiele, added that the move to introduce newly designed notes became imperative following the abnormalities bedevilling Nigerian financial, monetary and security systems.

The circulation of the new designs will begin on December 15, 2022.

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But the introduction of the new naira banknotes has received a lot of reactions from Nigerians .

Some economic experts have pointed out that apart from the change in colour of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes, its security features have been enhanced.

But the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore knocked President Buhari and Emefiele, accusing them of playing Nigerians by redesigning the banknotes.

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Sowore slammed Buhari, saying that no significant change occurred to the naira, and it seems Nigerians have been deceived again.

For Shehu Sani, a former Nigerian lawmaker, it was only a colour change that was introduced in the new notes, saying, “If it’s Naira colour, the CBN should have just engaged Snapchat.”

A senior lecturer of the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University, Professor Abdulmalik Abdulkadir, said with the current redesign of banknotes, embezzlement of public money by those in position of power, would be minimised

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Speaking to Journalists in Kaduna on Wednesday, Prof Abdulmalik noted that since the new notes are yet to be in circulation, what everyone is after is how to change the old currency which may soon fade away.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN Gov, Emefiele Explains Features Of New Naira Notes

According to him, some public servants in positions of authority are also scared of stealing public funds as they would be caught anytime, anywhere.

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Few Nigerians, who spoke to our correspondent on the streets of Abuja, also shared their thoughts. While some of them believe that it is a good way to stop politicians from money laundering ahead of the 2023 general elections, some others feel it is a waste of time.

Jennifer Adimso said, “I’m surprised that people still believe in this government and their policies. You’re talking about preventing politicians from laundering money but that’s a lie. Who is Emefiele working for? He is working for the APC. In fact, he is a member of the APC. He was contesting for the APC presidential primary if not for the pressure from Nigerians.

“In fact he went to court to challenge Nigerians against him. He is working for his party and if anybody is planning to launder money, it is APC. You’ll see bullion vans parked in the compound of some individuals and no one will question them. I believe they have some politicians they’re targeting. They’ve concluded their plans. These people think way ahead of us. Changing the colours of the N200, N500 and N1000 notes is just another way to distract Nigerians. Nothing more.”

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David Sam Ade said, “All I can say is that the colour of those banknotes have changed. I’m not an expert to know the security features but all I can tell you is that the change won’t contribute anything. Now tell me, will it change the prices of garri, rice, yam, onions and other food items in the market? Buhari and his team are bent on deceiving Nigerians. We can’t wait for their tenure to end. People are suffering and all you can do is change the colour of money. It makes no sense to me. The reason why Emefiele is still there as the CBN governor is because he’s as clueless as the President himself.”

Pastor Jewel Abianso said, “Nigerians should be prayerful. Nigeria is drifting under the current government. See, the redesigning of the naira note may be good to many of us but we may not know the idea behind it. The question is why is it happening now? They said it is to stop money laundering against the election but how do we know the other underlying reasons? When a government has established itself on deceit, it becomes difficult to know when it is taking a good measure that would be beneficial to its people. I believe Nigeria has more significant problems than changing the colour of some currency denominations. Once again, I’ll encourage Nigerians to pray hard ahead of the forthcoming elections. Let’s pray for change and to have a government we can trust.”

Meanwhile, Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had described the development as apt and commendable.

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He said it was “a well-considered and timely response” to the challenges of currency management.

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Naira Redesign: Buhari, Emefiele Played Nigerians, Only Changed Dye Of Currency – Sowore

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The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore on Wednesday, knocked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, over the newly-redesigned naira notes.

Sowore accused Buhari and Emefiele of playing Nigerians by redesigning the naira.

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In a tweet, the AAC presidential candidate described the president and the CBN governor as crooks.

He stressed that no significant change occurred to the naira, and it seems Nigerians have been deceived again.

Buhari had unveiled the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes at the commencement of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

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The new Naira notes will become legal tender commencing from December 15, while the old ones will cease to be legal tender effective February 1, 2023.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN Gov, Emefiele Explains Features Of New Naira Notes

This is the first time in 19 years that Nigeria will be redesigning some of her currency notes.

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Sharing a photograph on Twitter, Sowore expressed disappointment at the development.

He wrote: “@GodwinIEmefiele of the @cenbank, and @MBuhari just played Nigerians over the fraudulent so-called redesign of the Naira. Nothing was “redesigned” just a change of dye. Crooks! #WeCantContinueLikeThis.”

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JUST IN: CBN Gov, Emefiele Explains Features Of New Naira Notes

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The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele has explained the features of the redesigned notes.

Emefiele told State House Correspondents that it was in line with global best practices, noting that it was mandatory for the naira to be redesigned and re-issued every five to eight years.

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According to him, it is regrettable that the naira has not been redesigned for the past 19 years owing to lack of political will from previous administrations.

“In the past, I have to confess that attempts by the CBN to redesign and re-issue the naira notes have been resisted. It is only President Muhammadu Buhari that has exhibited the courage to do so,” he stated.

Emefiele said it was the mandate of the CBN, to redesign and re-issue the notes, stressing that the exercise would become a regular trend after five to eight years.

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His words,”After today, the CBN will begin to redesign and reissue the naira for every five to eight years”

The CBN governor said that Nigeria has gone cashless and that security agencies would monitor people making withdrawal at the counter to know how much withdrawn and also monitor the usage of the money.

He debunked insinuations that the policy was targeted at anyone, especially the political class.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: FG Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes To General Public [PHOTOS]

He said that the CBN was determined in ensuring that the provision of the law on volume of money one should carry is followed.

“The world has moved to cashless economy and the CBN has moved to cashless economy. We will restrain the volume of cash someone will withdraw over the counter. We will follow up with the person’s data to know the reason for such withdrawal,” he said.

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Commenting on calls for extension of time for the usage of old notes, the CBN boss said, “we will not go with people that want extension of time. From today, this currency that was reissued will become a legal tender.”

Emefiele also said there is no local government area in the country where there is no bank agent, insisting that there is over one million points across the country that people should go and deposit the old notes.

The CBN boss also boasted that the new naira notes cannot be counterfeited because of the features in them.

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