The Central Bank of Nigeria will not remove the Arabic inscription known as ‘Ajami’ from the redesigned Naira notes.
A former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, said this on Monday during an interview with Daily Nigerian.
He said this following speculations that ‘Ajami’ would be removed from the new Naira notes, which Emefiele said would go into circulation from 15th December, 2022.
The naira notes have retained the inscriptions with the “Ajami” inscriptions since 1973 when the name of the Nigerian currency was changed to naira from pounds.
The Ajami was inscribed on the country’s currency by the colonialists to aid those without Western education in certain parts of the country, who, back then, constituted a larger part of the populace.
The Ajami is not a symbol or mark of Islam but an inscription to aid the populace uneducated in Western education in ease of trade.
Currently, there is Ajami script on N1,000, N500 and N200 notes.
Sanusi who himself is a former Governor of the CBN, said that based on conversation he had with the apex bank boss, Mr Godwin Emefiele, he has received assurances that the new naira will have the Arabic Inscription.
Sanusi said, “There has been speculation going round about the change of some Naira notes. I heard various scholars commenting, with some implying that the Ajami on the Naira notes would be removed.
“I want to use this medium to authoritatively confirm to the Muslim ummah that there are no such plans. Since the issue came up, we have spoken to some people in the Central Bank, and they confirmed to me that such a plan is non-existent.
“When the misconception becomes widespread, I spoke to the CBN governor himself, and he also confirmed to me that there is no plan whatsoever to remove the Ajami.
“So, I want to appeal to Islamic scholars to please stop acting on unsubstantiated reports. I know some of the scholars making these comments are doing so without investigating the information brought to them.”
Emefiele had last Wednesday announced during an emergency meeting that it will redesign N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.
According to the lender, the new currencies will begin circulation December 15, 2022, while the existing notes will cease to be legal tenders by January 31, 2022.
The CBN said N3.2trn currency are in circulation out of which 85 per cent is out of bank vault.
Ahmed Bello Umar, the Director Currency Operation of CBN reacting to the controversies surrounding the decision said redesigning the currency was intentional and is not intended to replace all the N3.2trn to be withdrawn.
Umar said, “It removes the need for us to spend money in prints. It will reduce the need for us to spend money in minting distributing, storing and destruction.
“Then, if you look at the other angle, I think most of the cry that people are having with the cost of printing is the fact that people anticipate that we are going to replace N3.2trn bank notes.
“The essence is not to do a complete replacement of it. We have an agreed indent for next year which we will work with and it is not up to one third of what we are taking out of the system. And two: we have a delivery schedule with the mint.”
In 2020, the CBN spent the sum of N58.6bn to print 2.52 billion Naira notes valued at N1.1trn.