Fact-checking Buhari’s national broadcast on currency swap, cash crunch

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NIGERIA’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, February 16, 2023, addressed the nation on the redesigned naira notes amidst its scarcity and the government’s currency swap policy.

He said the naira redesign activities are within the ambit of the nation’s constitution.

“All these activities are being carried out within the ambit of the constitution, the relevant law under the CBN Act 2007, and in line with global best practice,” he stated.

READ : Fact-checking claims in Buhari’s presidential farewell speech to Nigerians

While addressing the general public, Buhari made some claims which our team of fact-checkers at The FactCheckHub reviewed.

Here are some of our findings:

CLAIM 1

The naira redesign activities are being carried out within the ambit of the constitution, relevant laws.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show the claim is TRUE.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ACT 2007 was passed into law by Nigeria’s National Assembly on 25 May 2007.

Section 20(3) of the Act states that: “Notwithstanding Sub-sections (1) and (2) of this section, the Bank shall have power, if directed to do so by the President and after giving reasonable notice in that behalf, to call in any of its notes or coins on payment of the face value thereof and any note or coin in respect to which a notice has been given under this Sub-section, shall, on the expiration of the notice, cease to be legal tender, but subject to section 22 of this Act, shall be redeemed by the Bank upon demand.

THE VERDICT

The claim by Buhari that the activities of the naira redesign policy are being carried out within the ambit of the law is TRUE.

SOURCE: Central Bank of Nigeria

CLAIM 2

I have been reliably informed that since the commencement of this program, about N2.1 trillion out of the banknotes previously held outside the banking system, had been successfully retrieved.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said, as of October 2022, currency in circulation was ₦3.23 trillion out of which only ₦500 billion was within the banking industry and ₦2.7 trillion was held in people’s homes. According to him, since the commencement of the naira redesign policy, ₦1.9 trillion have been collected which records for 75 percent of the ₦2.7 trillion held outside.

THE VERDICT

The claim that ₦2.1 trillion held outside the banking system have been successfully retrieved is MOSTLY FALSE; a press statement by CBN on January 29, 2023, quoted the CBN Governor as saying only ₦1.9 trillion have been collected.

SOURCE: Central Bank of Nigeria

CLAIM 3

In 2015, when this administration commenced its first term, Currency-in-Circulation was only N1.4trillion.

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THE FINDINGS

According to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria, as of May 31, 2015, the volume of naira notes in circulation in Nigeria was ₦1.66 trillion.

Buhari was sworn in for his first term as Nigeria’s democratically-elected President on May 29, 2015.

THE VERDICT

The claim that the naira currency in circulation in May 2015 was N1.4 trillion is FALSE; the actual figure was a bit higher.

SOURCE: Central Bank of Nigeria

CLAIM 4

As of October 2022, therefore, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion.

THE FINDINGS

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria show that as of October 31, 2022, the currency in circulation in Nigeria was ₦3.29 trillion. As of September 29, 2022, it was ₦3.24 trillion.

THE VERDICT

The claim that the currency in circulation as of October 2022 is ₦3.23 trillion is MOSTLY TRUE.

SOURCE: Central Bank of Nigeria

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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