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Naira Redesign Has Reduced Kidnapping, Ransom-Taking — Emefiele

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said the recent release of three redesigned naira notes has somehow reduced kidnapping and ransom-taking by armed men.

The CBN governor, who spoke after the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, also said there is no going back on its January 31, 2023 deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.

“Truly speaking, at the margin, I may be wrong, I think kidnapping and ransom-taking have somehow reduced. Security agents are doing a fantastic job.

“I think it (naira redesign) has slowed those people down because they know that if they collect old notes, nobody is going to collect it from them. So, it might as well as think of other ways,” he said.

Emefiele noted that the CBN remained focus on the weak and the vulnerable in the society and would attend to them even after the deadline to ensure they have the new notes.

The bank chief announced that the MPC raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which measures interest rates from 16.5% to 17.5 percent to tame inflation.

He further stressed that no Nigerian is licensed to build bank vaults at home.

He said there is no reason for the nation’s currency in circulation to rise from N1.4 trillion to N3.2 trillion in seven years, saying that some persons are hoarding the naira and embracing currency speculation.

“There is no reason why currency in circulation will grow from N1.4 trillion to N3.2 trillion in seven years,” the CBN governor said.

“People are hoarding it, people are keeping vaults in their homes. We cannot allow them to be banks in their homes; they don’t have the license to build bank vaults in their homes.

“They should release that money back to CBN because what they are doing is that they are undermining monetary policy. They are keeping it and speculating against our currency and it is making our work difficult in CBN.”

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