Concerned Northern Forum has called for the suspension of redesigning of the N200, N500, and N1000 notes, saying the measure would be detrimental to the nation’s economy.
The group’s spokesman, Mr. Abdulsalam Kazeem, made the call in a statement on Thursday in Kaduna.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it was redesigning the currency notes from Dec. 15.
According to Kazeem, redesigning the Naira denominations will inflict more harm on its value.
He explained that this was because the current exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar or pounds, had made the naira lose its value.
He called for serious economic policies that would strengthen the naira against dollars and pounds.
The group’s spokesman said Nigeria’s economy was down and the naira had depreciated to a minimal value, hence redesigning the notes would only cost the nation huge sums of money at the expense of taxpayers.
“This is coming at a period when we are borrowing to fund significant parts of our annual budget and another significant part of the borrowing goes to debt servicing.
“Yet the only solution the apex bank could offer is to redesign our currency,” he said.
Kazeem wondered if redesigning the notes would make Nigeria’s currency gain value at the exchange rate market or add value to the standard of living of the citizenry.
“These are some questions begging for immediate answers, if no satisfactory answers are provided, the apex bank should immediately stop the process of the new design.
“Or else, it will be resisted by us in collaboration with other concerned civil society organizations from within and outside our region,” he said.
He alleged that the decision to redesign the naira was to empower individuals, consultants, or contractors, who were desperate to make something before the end of the current administration.
“This idea should be rejected by all and sundry, it is not in the interest of the nation and it will add no value to the current multiple economic challenges the nation is facing.
“Failure to meet our demands to suspend redesigning of the notes will lead us to massive protest across the Northern region and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Those behind the idea should also be checked and questioned, while the CBN governor should be sacked,” Kazeem said.