Presidency directs Soludo to re-present naira redenomination
…Approves FS 2020
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
After nearly a year after its suspension, the Strategic Agenda for the Naira mooted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may now get the approval of the Federal Government.
The CBN policy intended to restructure the naira by dropping two zeros to the left from the currency and issuing more coin denominations was greeted with criticisms, which led to its suspension by the Federal Government.
Daily Sun, however, exclusively learnt “all things being equal the CBN Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo had been given the green light to re-present the Naira redenomination policy.
A top source at the presidency said the new development followed a successful defence of the Financial System Stragegy FSS 2020 policy by Soludo recently in Aso Rock.
“The presidency called Soludo to defend the feasibility of the FSS 2020 policy based on objections raised by the economic team. Soludo came well-prepared for the defence and all questions pertaining to its feasibility were well answered,” the source said.
He continued: “But the head of the economic team, that is Dr. Shamsudeen Usman and Economic Adviser to the president, Senator Sanusi Daggash disagreed sharply with Soludo on the grounds that the reality of what is on ground cannot support FSS 2020, and they even went on to describe it as Soludo’s dream. By the time the duo finished with their presentation it was clear that they were not in support of the FSS2020 dream.”
The source further revealed that both Usman and Daggash argued that Soludo was only trying to make Lagos the economic capital of Nigeria again through the FSS 2020 policy and that President Umaru Yar’Adua’s seven-point agenda could handle all that was in FSS 2020.
Minister of State for Finance, Mr Remi Babalola, however, had a contrary view, arguing that the CBN boss’ presentation gave the administration a clear focus of where the country was heading to and how it could get there. “Every macroeconomic indices supplied by the CBN governor are verifiable and supported by the international community,” he reportedly stressed, adding that the FSS 2020 policy was “workable and feasible.”
Following the submissions, President Yar’Adua was said to have given a nod to the FSS 2020, directing the CBN governor to re-present naira redenomination, which is a key aspect of the FSS 2020 document.”
The CBN had bowed to the Federal Government’s suspending the redenomination of the naira.
In a press statement personally signed by the governor, Prof. Soludo, the CBN stated that it had agreed to suspend with immediate effect the redenomination of the naira, which was the soul of its “Strategic Agenda for the Naira.”
According to the statement, the board of the CBN recognized and affirmed President Umaru Yar’Adua as the approving authority in matters relating to the denomination, form and design of the national currency as enshrined in Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007.
The CBN said it remained committed to President Yar’Adua and his goal of making Nigeria one of the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020. The apex bank which recognized the patriotism of the president said it was ready and committed to do all within its powers to accelerate the president’s agenda for a stronger economy.