Adewole Adebayo, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate, has criticized the currency redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Adebayo spoke to Channels Television in an interview on Sunday.


On October 26, 2022, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, Announced the plan to redesign the largest denominations of the country’s currency to control the money supply and help security agencies combat illicit financial flows.

Emefiele had said that the new notes (N200, N500 and N1000) would come into effect from mid-December 2022 and advised customers to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they would cease to be legal tender. .

The January 31 deadline was controversial as many Nigerians were unable to access the new naira notes.

On Sunday, Emefiele said that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the extension of the removal until February 10.

“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained the approval of the President for the following: a 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023 to February 10, 2023; to enable the collection of more old notes in the rightful hands of Nigerians and to achieve more success in exchanging cash in our rural communities, after which all old notes outside the CBN lose their legal tender status,” the governor said. of the CBN.


Speaking during the interview, the SDP presidential candidate said that there were no policy or project management parameters behind the coin redesign initiative.

He said the currency exchange process should not be “chaotic”, noting that currency is critical to the economy.

“There is no policy behind it. There was no planning, definition of stakeholders, or project management parameters. No timeline or simulation was done,” he said.

“The process is not supposed to be chaotic. The economy is a sensitive thing. Currency is so central to the economy because it is the medium of exchange.”

Adebayo criticized the CBN governor for seeking the president’s approval for a one-week extension, adding that the central bank should not be “subject to political interpretation.”

The SDP presidential candidate said Emefiele should have consulted with the main bank’s board on the currency redesign instead of the president, who said he is a “political leader.”

“The CBN is not supposed to allow itself to be subject to political interpretation,” he said.

“Even this idea of ​​going to the president to ask for permission for a one-week extension, none of that is… there is a board of governors for the CBN that is supposed to take care of the internal affairs of the CBN.

“With all due respect, for each ailment of this election there is the INEC, the DSS and the police. He does not want to give the CBN a role to play in managing the elections.

“Saying that I have gone to take instructions and permission from the president to add 10 more days, that is not the way to execute the CBN with all due respect.

“The idea is not something that the currency exchange is emanating from a political person, who is the president.

“The idea is that the CBN belongs to everyone, there is a change of government, party or person.

“It seems that the governor of the CBN should be working in the presidency as a special adviser or something.

“I don’t want CBN to look like an extension of Nigerian politics.”