The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, today stormed the famous Lagos Central Mosque, where its top executives explained to the Muslim faithful the significant reasons for redesigning the Naira and encouraged them to embrace the project due to its inherent benefits.
Speaking before the commencement of Friday prayers, the leader of the sensitization team, a Deputy Director at CBN, Mr Mohammed’Jamiu Solaja, noted that the visit was in line with the ongoing efforts by the apex bank to clarify to Nigerians all issues regarding the redesigning of some Naira notes.
According to Mr Jamiu, currency redesign is generally aimed at achieving specific objectives such as improving the security of banknotes, mitigating counterfeiting, preserving the collective national heritage, controlling currency in circulation, and reducing the overall cost of currency management.
While acknowledging the presence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, who was at the Mosque for a special prayer, he said currency management is a vital function of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as enshrined in Section 2 (b) of the CBN Act 2007.
Mr Jamiu explained that the worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes with an attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability, as well as increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting evidenced by several security reports, were some of the reasons for redesigning the notes.
He told the worshipers that the CBN has made sufficient banknotes available and is currently monitoring the banks to ensure that they push the same out to the banking public.
He also gave out numbers that can be reached in case of complaints around the newly redesigned bank notes, while urging Nigerians to report banks that do not dispense new notes through their Automated Teller Machines, ATMs.
Cue in: Tell your members that if they have problems accessing the new naira notes, they can call the CBN to report,” he stated.
The Vice Chairman of the Lagos Central Mosque Executive Council, Bashorun Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy, who received the CBN sensitization team, said that though he and other worshipers have been hearing about the naira redesign, it is satisfactory to hear from the horses’ mouth.
He commended the bank for its cashless policy initiative, which he hoped will reduce the incidence of naira abuse drastically.
Mr Alabi-Macfoy, who was once an Assistant Manager, Foreign Operations at the CBN in the 1970s, said the message of the Apex Bank would be conveyed to the worshipers in different languages for easy understanding.
The highlight of the sensitization tour was the presentation of flyers and the redesigned notes as samples by the CBN team to top members of the Lagos Central Mosque present.