By Tunde Opalana
Trouble may not be over for the embattled ex- Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele as the Senate set to probe printing of new naira notes last year.
This was revealed Tuesday as the Senate Public Account Committee (SPAC) continue it’s investigative interaction with the management of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc (NSPMC) during the probing of the 2019 reports of the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
The Federal Government printer came under the scrutiny of the Committee over the role it plays under Emefiele’s tenure as CBN Governor.
Central Bank of Nigeria had said it has redesigned all major naira notes and will by December 2022 start circulating them.
The affected denominations are N100, N200, N500, and N1000.
The move to probe printing of new notes was raised by Senator Adams Oshiomole who is a member of the committee.
Oshiomole while speaking during the committee meeting told the Managing Director of the agency to come with the documents related to the priming of new naira notes.
According to him, when coming to see us, you should come with documents related to the printing of new naira notes.
“To see how much was printed, how much spent printing the new naira notes this one happened under your nose.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Ahmed Wadada immediately interjected Senator Oshiomole saying this will come under status inquiry.
” The committee will write and your response will determine how you flow.”
It could be recalled that the 2023 Nigerian currency crisis was precipitated by a shortage of cash currency (the naira) and an attempt by the Nigerian government to force citizens to use a newly created government-sponsored central bank digital currency. This led to extensive street protests in mid-February 2023.
The former governor of apex bank, Godwin Emefiele initially cited Nigerians hoarding notes in their homes as the reason for the currency redesign.
However, he later claimed that it would deter counterfeiters and those paying kidnappers’ ransoms, and that it was a step towards a cashless society.
He also argued that it would help reduce inflation. Some analysts and politicians have said that a motive of the CBDC introduction and deprecation of the old currency was to curb vote buying, by thwarting politicians who had amassed a stockpile of naira in preparation for election day.