By Idris Bakare
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has listed issues such as impact on inflation and exchange rates, cost of designing and printing the new currency notes and the timing of the policy, as some of the issues the apex bank should address.
Speaking after the “Fitness Walk” in commemoration of the International Accounting Day 2022, the 58th President of ICAN, Mallam Tijjani Isa, said, “We acknowledge the CBN’s objectives in its recent initiative to redesign the Naira, discourage hoarding of bank notes by members of the public, address the worsening shortage of clean bank notes and reduce the increasing risk and ease of counterfeiting.
“While ICAN would soon release its position on this policy initiative, it suffices to say that the CBN should consider the views of the various stakeholders and ensure that critical issues such as the cost of designing and printing the new currency notes, the timing of the policy, the policy’s likely impact on inflation and exchange rates are satisfactorily addressed.
“Without doubt, the Naira has been under unprecedented pressure against the US Dollars. As at date, with largely insufficient supply at official channels, the Dollar to Naira exchange rate hovers around N780 to N820 in the parallel market. This has profound implications on inflation, the sourcing of raw materials and services as well as other productive activities.
“As a nation, we must find a permanent solution to the forex crisis if we are to develop at the desired pace.
“As we mark this special day, we recognize that economies across the world are facing one of the most trying times in history. The challenges are heightened with developments such as the Russia-Ukraine war, climate change, increasing consumer prices, contractions in Gross Domestic Products, trade wars, political tensions, among others.
“At the country level, several socio-economic imbalances are biting hard on citizens. Inflation at the end of the third quarter 2022 was 20.77 percent, the highest in seventeen years. This is amidst declining purchasing power of citizens. To successfully address the problems of inflation, Nigeria must adopt both short and long-term approaches as a solution.”