Says policy long overdue Recovers $1b looted funds in 7yrs
THE federal government approved redesigning some naira notes to control volume of currency in circulation and as a policy long overdue.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this while launching the new bank notes just before commencement of Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Assuring Nigerians that security features embedded in the new naira notes will protect them against counterfeiting, President Buhari explained that the redesigned currencies were locally produced by Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) PLC in line with international best practices.
While explaining that global financial and fiscal trend requires central banks and other regulatory authorities to issue new or redesigned currency notes every five-eight years, Buhari also said about 20 years had gone when last major redesign of the country’s local currency was done.
“This implies that Naira is long overdue to wear a new look. A cycle of banknote redesign is generally aimed at achieving specific objectives, including, but not limited to: improving security of banknotes, mitigating counterfeiting, preserving the collective national heritage, controlling currency in circulation, and reducing the overall cost of currency management. As is known, our local laws – specifically the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007 – grants Central Bank of Nigeria power to issue and redesign the Naira. In line with this power, Central Bank Governor approached me earlier in this year to seek my permission to embark on a currency redesign project. I considered all the facts and reasons presented before me by Central Bank. There was an urgent need to take control of currency in circulation and to address the hoarding of Naira banknotes outside the banking system, the shortage of clean and fit banknotes in circulation, and the increase in counterfeiting of high-denomination Naira banknotes. It is on this basis that I gave my approval for the redesign of ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 bank notes,” he said.
Similarly, federal government said a total of $1 billion looted funds was recovered in the last seven and half years.
Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed the figure while addressing newsmen after Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in State House, Abuja, yesterday.