By Taiwo Ajala
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele may have got this right just once. The decision by the Apex bank to redesign some naira notes have reportedly been causing top hierarchy of terror groups in the northeast sleepless nights.
The groups, Boko Haram and the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), have as a result banned farmers and fishermen in Lake Chad from using the naira for transactions.
The CBN had said it will redesign N200, N500, and N1000 into new naira notes commencing in December while the old notes would be phased out by January 2023.
Intelligence sources told this newspaper that the terror groups have opted for the CFA francs which is acceptable in francophone Africa as the legal tender of the areas it controlled in the Lake Chad basin.
The terror groups it was learnt, operating in the far flung areas would find it nearly impossible to change their money into the new notes before the end of the deadline.
“The terrorists have also banned all Nigerian fishermen, herdsmen and farmers from sneaking into the Lake Chad through Marte, Abadam, and Gamborun Ngala in order to prevent the naira from reaching into the camps of the terrorists in the Lake Chad,” the source said.
The terror groups still control vast regions in the lake chad area spanning into northern Cameroon from where they launch attacks into Nigeria.
Emefiele had promised that one of the reasons for the redesign is to combat terrorism. “Also, in view of the prevailing level of security situation in the country, the CBN is convinced that the incidents of terrorism and kidnapping would be minimised as access to the large volume of money outside the banking system used as source of funds for ransom payments will begin to dry up,” Emefiele had said.