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Currency Redesign Can’t Improve Naira Value – CBN

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The Deputy Director, Currency Operations Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Amina Halidu-Giwa, said the apaex bank’s redesigning programme will not improve naira value or strengthen the national currency.

Halidu-Giwa said the improvement of the naira against foreign currencies is determined by export volume in Nigeria, not the change in the outlook of the naira.

She said this during a webinar themed; ‘Naira Redesign Policy: Implications for the Nigerian Economy‘, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Nsukka and District Society (NDS) branch, on Thursday, in partnership with Prime Business Africa.

During her presentation, Halidu-Giwa said the benefits of the change in naira outlook are; reduction of cash management expenditure and enhanced visibility & control of the money supply.

Others include streamlining the volume of banknotes in circulation, disrupting counterfeit activity, and promoting the adoption of e-commerce transacting channels, which will enhance financial inclusion. 

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Also, Halidu-Giwa, who is the Head, Currency Policy Development for CBN, said redesigning the naira will disrupt the black or underground economy, such as terrorism and money laundering.

Although she admitted that the announcement of the change in naira negatively affected the value of the Nigerian legal tender, the CBN official said it is the responsibility of trade to improve it, “When you talk about strengthening the naira, the strength of the naira is not on the design, it’s more on trade. 

“Countries that do a lot of exports, their currency gets stronger, but when you look at Nigeria, we import Brazilian hair, toothpick, we have people that take off to China and bring plastic.” 

She added that Nigeria needs a balance of trade, “Everybody is importer, nobody wants to export. Even if you are importing from any country, it’s very important you find out what they need from here. No matter, even if it’s cash crop, take something and also bring. 

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“That way, you find out your currency will get stronger. Redesign is not about currency getting stronger. It’s our behavior to Nigerian goods. the moment we begin to produce things here, and then patronise, and stop bringing in trash from other countries – because some products, you see it, Nigerian products are better. 

“But physiologically, we have to go out there and bring anything just in the name of importing. We have to do lot of campaigns for Nigerians to begin to love their country a little bit.  

“I know that we are not self-sufficient in everything, but if you have to import, why not import things that will have impact in your country; what has going to bring plastic, toothpicks, matches (have)? How will it strengthen your naira that way?” She asked.

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