The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has debunked claims that its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, attributed the distribution challenges of the redesigned naira notes to shortage of printing materials at the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc (NSPM).
The CBN also said that claims the Governor had threatened to close some Deposit Money Banks, DMBs were also false.
Similarly, NSPM, also known as Mint, dismissed reports of lack of capacity and non-availability of banknote substrate, saying it has made arrangement to continue to produce banknotes in Nigeria.
The apex bank spoke yesterday in a circular signed by its Director Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, noting that at no time did the CBN Governor disclose these during his presentation to the National Council of State at its meeting on Friday.
The CBN said:”The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to a misleading report misquoting the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, as attributing the current challenge in the distribution of the newly redesigned naira banknotes to a shortage of printing materials at the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc.
“We wish to state categorically that at no time did the CBN Governor disclose this during his presentation to the National Council of State at its meeting on Friday, February 10, 2023.
“For the records, what Mr. Emefiele told the meeting was that the NSPMC was working on printing all denominations of the Naira to meet the transaction needs of Nigerians.
“While the CBN appreciates the concerns shown by all stakeholders about the distribution of the Naira, we are alarmed at the extent to which vested interests are attempting to manipulate facts and pitch the public against the Bank.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN remains committed to performing its monetary policy functions, as stipulated in the CBN Act, 2007, as amended.
“We also wish to restate that the NSPMC has the capacity and enough materials to produce the required indent of the Naira.
“The Bank, therefore, wishes to appeal to the public to disregard the said report and exercise more restraint, even as we work assiduously to increase the circulation of the new notes in the country.
“Similarly, there is a misleading voice note trending in social media alleging that the CBN planned to shut down some banks, particularly in a particular geo-political region of the country.
“We wish to state unequivocally that there is no such plan and that the claims are illogical and do not comply with the workings of the Nigerian banking system.
“The public is therefore advised to ignore such recordings as they do not represent the policy thrust of the CBN and are only the desperate attempts of persons bent on inciting the public against the Bank.”
On its part, NSPM said it was prepared to meet the demand for new Naira notes.
In a statement, it described media reports that De-la-Rue of the United Kingdom was supplying it paper substrate as false.
The company equally debunked the reports that it was having challenges in printing the new Naira notes.
The statement signed by the Managing Director of the Mint, Ahmed Hahlilu, reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc (NSPM) has been drawn to some publications allegedly credited to the Central Bank Governor about the capacity of NSPM to continue the production of the redesigned bank notes, owing to supply chain constraints.”
While the CBN has debunked the false claim, we also find it expedient to add that contrary to the mischievous claim, De- la-Rue of United Kingdom does not produce nor supply paper substrates within the currency industry.”
“We wish to further assure Nigerians that NSPM has made adequate arrangements to continuously produce the designed bank notes as well as other denominations, in line for the CBN.indent for 2023.”