El-Rufai: Mint needs 12 months to print N1 trillion, end Naira crisis

The governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai says the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) Plc will require at least 12 months to print the minimum amount of N1 trillion needed to ensure a functioning trade and exchange environment in Nigeria.

Recall that the Supreme court earlier on Wednesday, adjourned the suit which was filed by state governments to challenge the Central Bank of Naira redesign policy till February 22, 2023.

In a statement by Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser on Media and Communication to Govenror El-Rufai on Wednesday, revealed that federal government officials reached out to some Governors, including him towards settling the Naira redesign crisis out-of-court.

The Kaduna State Governor stated that the proposal was rejected, alleging that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lied over alleged destruction of old N500 N1000 notes, while relying on information available to Nigerian Governors.

According to El-Rufai, “There has been no meeting this week between the FG and either the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) or the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), not to talk of one lasting till the wee hours of today, Wednesday, 15 February 2023.

“Rather, senior officials of the FG reached some governors, including Malam Nasir El-Rufai, on phone to initiate discussions on a possible out of court settlement. The terms they proposed were to allow only the old N200 note to remain legal tender and be circulated by the CBN till 10 April 2023.

“They claimed that the CBN had already destroyed the old N500 and N1000 notes that had been deposited, but that those persons who still held the old notes could redeem them up to 10 April 2023.

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“These were not considered as serious proposals, for obvious reasons. Circulating the old N200 notes alone would not be sufficient to relieve widespread human suffering in Kaduna State, and indeed in Nigeria today. They knew that and that is why they falsely claimed that the CBN had already destroyed the old N500 and N1000 notes.

“This is contrary to the fact available to the governors to the effect that the old notes were in the custody of commercial bank branches throughout Nigeria until the evening of Monday, February 13, and not a single N500 or N1000 had been destroyed.

“It is also a non-starter to insist on a new cut off date without first assuring that sufficient new notes would have been printed and circulated.

“Information available to the governors also indicates that the Mint will need at least 12 months to print the minimum amount of N1 trillion needed to ensure a functioning trade and exchange environment in Nigeria.

“The tabling of false facts, inadequate solutions to the sufferings of our people, and the bad faith that some of the FG negotiators displayed in our phone conversations and chats have now been taken further in leaking a false account and context to a respected medium.

“The plaintiff governors rejected the draft proposal as insincere, and invested our hopes in the Supreme Court of Nigeria”, El-Rufai said.

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