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Naira Scarcity: More troubles line up for Emefiele



Naira Scarcity: More troubles line up for Emefiele

Jim Obaze, the appointed Special Investigator on CBN and Related Entities, has unveiled revelations regarding the Naira redesign policy initiated by ex-CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, asserting that former President Muhammadu Buhari did not sanction the policy.

Appointed by President Bola Tinubu several months ago, Obaze recently submitted a comprehensive report titled ‘Report of the Special Investigation on CBN and Related Entities (Chargeable Offences)’ to Tinubu. This report hints at potential legal actions against Emefiele concerning the handling of the CBN naira redesign policy.

The documents within the report suggest that Emefiele could face fresh criminal charges, particularly for the alleged illegal issuance of currency under section 19 of the CBN Act.

Additionally, Tunde Sabiu, a former aide to ex-President Buhari, and 12 high-ranking CBN directors might also be implicated.

According to the report’s findings, the Naira redesign initiative was proposed to Emefiele by Sabiu in September 2022 without the approval of the CBN board. Emefiele subsequently informed Buhari on October 6, 2022, expressing his intent to redesign the N1000, N500, and N200 notes.

However, it’s highlighted that Buhari did not give formal approval for the redesign as stipulated by law.

While Buhari did consent to printing the currency in Nigeria, the actual redesign was only disclosed to the CBN board on December 15, 2022, subsequent to Emefiele awarding the contract to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc on October 31, 2022.

Reportedly, Emefiele contracted the redesign to De La Rue of the UK for £205,000 under the Currency Operations Department’s budget, after the NSPM conveyed its inability to fulfill the contract within a short timeframe.

The investigation discovered that a total of N61.5 billion was earmarked for printing the new notes, with N31.79 billion already disbursed.

Emefiele and other implicated parties could potentially face legal consequences pending further actions based on these findings.