A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, on Friday explained why he is in support of the bank’s recent decision to redesign naira notes.
In a series of tweets, Mr Moghalu said the CBN is trying to gain control over money supply in the economy.
He noted that while the move may not stem inflation, it is “necessary step.”
“I fully support the Central Bank’s redesign of the Naira,” he said. “If 80% of bank notes in circulation are outside the banks, that’s troubling. The CBN obviously wants to force all those notes back into the banking system. Those with the notes must surrender to get new ones or else it becomes illegal tender after January 31 2023.
“This is also a way to withdraw currency from circulation, an unorthodox way of tightening the money supply since the country is battling high inflation.
“The flip side is that people who are holding huge amounts of cash outside the banking system for nefarious reasons will go the parallel forex market to buy hard currency, putting further downward pressure on the value of the Naira as too much Naira will be chasing too few dollars.
“I doubt it will solve inflation because there also are other major reasons for inflation such as the forex crisis, which this new move could exacerbate, as well the impact of the security crisis on food price inflation.
“But overall it is a necessary step.
“I just think the time window for its implementation is rather short. This will put a lot of operational pressure on commercial banks and the financial system in general. A 90 day window would have been better, but one can understand the need to avoid interfering with the elections.”