Buhari Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes Today, CBN Raises Interest Rate

Oru Leonard

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has on Wednesday morning unveiled the redesigned naira notes of  N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations.

PMB unveiled the notes at the Council Chambers of the State House shortly before the kickoff of this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting.

Fielding questions from correspondents after the event, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, insisted that the move is not targeted at anyone.

Rather, he said the redesigned notes would give the apex bank ample control over the amount of money in circulation

Speaking during the last MPC for this year, Emefiele also announced the decision of the committee to raise benchmark interest rate by yet another 100-basis point to 16.5 percent from 15.5% to rein in surging inflation around other parameters.

The committee voted unanimous to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR). Nine members voted to raise the MPR by 100 basis points and two members voted to raise the MPR by 50 basis points.

Emefiele said MPC took the decision to moderately tighten the rates to ensure the gains of the past tightening are not eroded by a listening or holding of the rates.

He said MPC decided to continue to tighten, but at a somewhat lower rate, noting that tightening the stance of policy would narrow the negative real effective interest margin and thus improve market sentiment and further restore investor confidence.

Mr Emefiele also insists that the bank will not shift the January 2023 deadline for the existing notes to be acceptable as legal tender. There had been objections in some quarters as some critics say that the six-week window will cause stamped at banks. Others also argue that the timeline would hurt the rural poor who do not have easy access to bank branches.

Almost 100 days window for people to return the old currencies is enough for any person in any part of Nigeria to deposit his/her money”, he emphasized.

He also said adequate provisions to make sure that those who have cash are able to deposit their cash in the banks.

The CBN governor disclosed that as of October 2022, agency banking network in Nigeria has increased to 1.4 million, in almost all the local governments of the country.

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