Naira redesign: Secretly planned and confidently announced

“Good morning country man,”

“What is good about this morning?”

“Bro, the country hard. Have you heard?“

“Heard what?”

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has just announced that the N200.00 and N500.00 bills are to be redesigned and re-issued effective December 15, 2022. A new Currency Bill in N1,000.00 denomination will also be freshly issued within this same timeline.”

“The CBN Governor stated that this was to ensure the integrity of the local legal tender, efficiency of its supply and efficacy of monetary policy in addition to deepening the Government’s drive towards a cashless economy since about 80 percent of currency in circulation is outside the vaults of the banks.“

“Big grammar always. This policy is not for the common man at all.”

“Thank you for bringing this up for discussion.”

“Apart from the reasons given by the CBN, I think the exercise will make Naira to appreciate against US dollars in particular because most of the 80 percent hoarding are with the black market operators. They have raw cash for those who don’t want to go through transfer policy.“

“Is the CBN no longer defending the Naira with US$?“

“I heard that $7.6 billion was injected into the economy in five months.”

“I know the problem.” The “black market” is the problem. But we should not forget that the “black market is a symptom of failed monetary policies. “So, is the black market an issue? Yes, it is !”

“Why are we redesigning the naira again?” “Has the naira escaped?”

“Though overdue given best practices, I believe it may also have a direct and positive impact on curbing corruption and cash hoarding, reduce vote buying, funding for terrorism, kidnapping and banditry, especially as we approach the election year among other benefits. I am looking forward to its implementation.”

“I said it. Barely 48 hours after the announcement, the Naira has nose-dived from N740 to N788 per dollar and still diving.“ I heard the Naira is walking leisurely to N1000/dollar.

“God forbid bad thing.” N1000/dollar? Who is spreading this dangerous fake news?”

“I know the problem.” The “black market” is the problem. But we should not forget that the “black market is a symptom of failed monetary policies. “So, is the black market an issue? Yes, it is !”

“Can we please discuss the pros and cons of this CBN action. Is this prudent at a time such as this when we are even borrowing to fund the national budget? I think this should be an advocacy issue. Over to you experts.“

“Is this not ‘ridiculously laughable’ or ‘laughably ridiculous’, Gentlemen, …, while not minding my tautological expressions?” “I mind your tautology. But go ahead, please make your point.”

All these discordant tunes really ‘speaks volumes’ about the trust deficit between the citizens and the Nigerian State these days and calls for extreme and cautious vigilance by law-abiding citizens.

May we be guided aright in the coming weeks…a very good morning to your good self!“

“But was the Minister of Finance aware of this monetary policy?” She told the National Assembly and the whole world that she was not carried along by the CBN. Come and see drama.”

Read also: CBN’s FX sales decline fuels dollar scarcity, naira’s fall

“Sai baba told the world that he approved the redesigning of the Naira.”

“Is this naira redesign a political matter?

“From all I heard today, I personally have my doubts about what CBN wants to do. The intentions may be good though. Rich Nigerians have started depositing bales of cash in banks. But it is doubtful if this policy would be of any positive economic value to the common man. It was done in 1984 to deal with those who looted naira then. And what did we get from it? Smuggling of naira and dollars in and out of the country in portmanteaus.”

“Is that so? Anyway let us talk about this one. I say with all sense of responsibility that the CBN has disappointed me big time in the last seven years. As usual I am keeping my fingers crossed”

“I read somewhere that in solving economic challenges there is no silver bullet. Please, correct me if I am wrong bros.” Now in our own case, are we still left with any silver bullet after firing this “naira redesign” shot? I think this is the last silver bullet to be fired before 2023 elections.”

If the “naira redesign” bullet does not hit the target, what’s next?”

“This is an opportunity to strengthen the naira, reduce inflation and the cash in circulation. If CBN missed this opportunity, it would be very disappointing.” That means the struggle continues.”

“Ever since I read about the some psychologists who won the Nobel Prize for economics, I have been thinking about how they integrate insights from psychology into economics.”

“You know, a lot of things we do with our economy and markets completely exclude the human behavioral part.”

“That is a massive error made by policy makers“

“And to be honest, our “psychological” make up as Nigerians is very unique.“

“Without factoring human behavior into economic/market policy, we will continue to get things wrong and wonder why a country XYZ did the same thing and it worked but we didn’t get it.”

“Are you saying behavioral economics matter in formulating economics policies?”

“Yes, it does.”

“Yet, it is unbelievable how we ignore it almost entirely“

“In fairness to the CBN, I don’t think it ignored human behaviour entirely.

The only problem with the apex bank which I have observed in the past few years is that it ignores facts on many occasions and make decisions that result in setbacks.That is why the public must obey the CBN first before complaining.”

“All said, we are going to use money to redesign and print money. I hope that the redesigned naira will tame inflation. Inflation is very deadly to an average consumer. A lot of pockets are dry. Anyway, patience may seem like a waste of time and an act of foolishness in the beginning, but it is always very rewarding in the end. Let’s wait patiently for the outcome of the redesigned naira.”

Thank you.