Stanbic IBTC building. Photo Credit: The Guardian Nigeria

CBN Hijacked State Power, Confiscated The Naira, Says Stanbic IBTC Owner, Peterside

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Owner of Stanbic IBTC, Atedo Peterside at the weekend said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) actually hijacked the powers of the state by confiscating the naira in the guise of currency redesign.

The founder of Stabic IBTC and ANAP spoke just as the Supreme Court ruled against the naira redesign policy, saying the old N200, N500, and N1000 should be returned to circulation and run alongside the new notes.

The apex court said the CBN needed to give Nigerians more time and orientation before launching the naira notes.

READ ALSO: Old Naira Notes: Supreme Court Verdict Is No Victory For El-Rufai, Other Governors – Expert

According to Peterside, in a tweet on Friday, the Naira redesign policy of the CBN turned to cash confiscation and  caused a lot of hardship to Nigerians.

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“I agree that the CBN did not give adequate notice & so currency redesign became confiscation,” said Peterside.

He continued: “CBN’s autonomy is on monetary policy which does not & cannot stretch into the “confiscation of an entire asset class” (old notes) which is still held by the States and Private Citizens.”

Apart from founding Stanbic IBTC Bank and ANAP Foundation , Peterside is the Co-chair of the Agenda 2050 Steering Committee and Convener of the  GoNigeria.

Recall that the CBN had introduced its Naira redesign policy in October 2022 with a deadline of January 31 for Nigerians to return their old notes. Public outcry  following scarcity of the Naira in banks and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the attendant long queues forced the apex bank to extend the deadline to February 10.

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The apex bank had aligned the currency redesign with its cashless policy implementation by limited cash withdrawals within the same time frame. This came as the CBN was accused of failing to release enough of the new Naira notes.

Prior to the Supreme Court judgement on the old naira notes, banks had  continued collecting old notes, although the financial sector regulator argued that it did not give them the instruction to do so.

Uduegbunam Chukwujama
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