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Naira Redesign: FG Officials Seeking Out-Of-Court Settlement, El-Rufai Alleges

By Adedayo Said 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Wednesday alleged that some Federal Government officials are seeking out-of-court settlement over the controversy trailing the naira redesign by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court adjourned the suit filed by state governments to challenge the naira redesign policy of the apex bank till February 22.

In a statement released a few hours after the apex court’s adjournment, El-Rufai dismissed reports that some governors had held a meeting with the Federal Government over the issue.

The governor, in a statement by his media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, said the terms proposed by Federal Government’s officials were to allow only the old N200 note to remain legal tender and be circulated by the CBN till 10 April 2023.

According to El-Rufai, they claimed that the CBN had already destroyed the old N500 and N1000 notes that had been deposited but that those persons who still held the old notes could redeem them up to 10 April 2023.

“These were not considered as serious proposals, for obvious reasons. Circulating the old N200 notes alone would not be sufficient to relieve widespread human suffering in Kaduna State, and indeed in Nigeria today. They knew that and that is why they falsely claimed that the CBN had already destroyed the old N500 and N1000 notes,” El-Rufai stated.

He added, “It is also a non-starter to insist on a new cut-off date without first assuring that sufficient new notes would have been printed and circulated. The information available to the governors also indicate that the Mint will need at least 12 months to print the minimum amount of N1 trillion needed to ensure a functioning trade and exchange environment in Nigeria.

“The tabling of false facts, inadequate solutions to the sufferings of our people, and the bad faith that some of the FG negotiators displayed in our phone conversations and chats have now been taken further in leaking a false account and context to a respected medium. The plaintiff governors rejected the draft proposal as insincere, and invested our hopes in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

El-Rufai further announced that he will be addressing the people of Kaduna State on the currency redesign mess, the consequences of the extension of the court’s injunction and related matters on February 16.

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