The Presidential Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Prince Adewole Adebayo has faulted the currency redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Adebayo said this while speaking to Channels Television on the economy and his ambitions on Sunday, January 29, 2023.
Recall that on October 26, 2022, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced the plan to redesign the biggest denominations of the country’s currency to control the money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.
Emefiele had said the new notes (N200, N500, and N1000) would be effective from mid-December 2022, advising customers to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they would cease to be legal tender.
The January 31 deadline sparked controversies as many Nigerians could not access the new naira notes.
He said the process of currency swap should not be “chaotic”, noting that the currency is central to the economy.
“There is no policy behind it. There was no planning, definition of stakeholders, or project management parameters. No timeline and simulation done,” he said.
“The process is not supposed to be chaotic. The economy is a sensitive thing. Currency is so central to the economy because it is the means of exchange.”
Adebayo criticised Emefiele for seeking the approval of the President for a one-week extension, adding that the Apex should not be “subject to political interpretation”.
The legal luminary said Emefiele should have consulted with the Board of the CBN on the currency redesign rather than the President, who he said is a “political leader”.
“The CBN is not supposed to be allowing itself to be subject to political interpretation,” he said.
“Even this idea of going to the President to take permission for a one-week extension, none of that is …there is a Board of Governors for the CBN that is supposed to deal with the internal business of the CBN.
“With all due respect, for every ailment of this election, there is INEC, DSS, and police. You don’t want to give the CBN a role to play in the management of the election.
“To say, I have gone to take instruction and permission from the president to add more 10 days, that is not how to run the CBN with all due respect.
“The idea is not something that the changing of currency is emanating from a political person, which is the president.
“The idea is that the CBN belongs to all of us whether there is a change of government, party, or person.
“It looks like the Governor of the CBN should rather be working in the presidency as a special adviser or something.
“I don’t want the CBN to look like an extension of the politics of Nigeria.” he added.