CBN takes sensitization to Lagos Central Mosque
In continuation of its nationwide sensitization and public enlightenment exercise, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday berthed at the famous Lagos Central Mosque, where its top executives explained to the Muslim faithful the significant reasons for redesigning the Naira and encouraged them to embrace the project due to its inherent benefits.
Speaking before the commencement of Friday prayers, the leader of the sensitization team, a Deputy Director at CBN Mohammed’Jamiu Solaja, said the reason for coming was to get Muslim brothers and sisters in the Lagos Central Mosque acquainted with the newly redesigned naira notes and encourage them to embrace it.
According to him, currency redesign is generally aimed at achieving specific objectives such as improving the security of banknotes, mitigating counterfeiting, preserving the collective national heritage, controlling currency in circulation, and reducing the overall cost of currency management.
He recalled that the Governor of the CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, announced the decision of the apex bank to redesign the Naira on October 26, 2022, which affected the three highest denominations of the nation’s currency: N200, N500, and N1000 notes.
While acknowledging the presence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, who was at the Mosque for a special prayer, Jamiu said currency management is a vital function of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as enshrined in Section 2 (b) of the CBN Act 2007.
He said the CBN identified some challenges to currency management, including hoarding of Naira by some unscrupulous public members, with statistics showing that about 85 percent of currency in circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks.
He added that the worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes with an attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability, as well as increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting evidenced by several security reports, were reasons for redesigning the notes.
Jamiu told the worshipers that the central bank has made sufficient banknotes available and is currently monitoring the banks to ensure that they push the same out to the banking public. He also gave out numbers that can be reached in case of complaints around the newly redesigned bank notes, urging Nigerians to report banks that don’t dispense new notes on their Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
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“Tell your members that if they have problems accessing the new naira notes, they can call the CBN to report,” he stated.
Earlier in his response, the Vice Chairman of the Lagos Central Mosque Executive Council, Bashorun Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy, who received the CBN sensitization team, said that though he and other worshipers have been hearing about the naira redesign, it is satisfactory to hear from the horses’ mouth.
He commended the bank for its cashless policy initiative, which he said will reduce the incidence of naira abuse drastically, adding that people easily abuse the currency because it is produced so that it can easily be squeezed and abused.
Alabi-Macfoy, who was once an Assistant Manager, Foreign Operations at the CBN in the 1970s, said the message of the CBN will be conveyed to the worshipers in different languages that will make it easy to understand.
The highlight of the sensitization tour was the presentation of flyers and the redesigned notes as samples by the CBN team to the Vice Chairman and top members of the Lagos Central Mosque present.