Currency redesign: Arabic inscription on Naira won’t be removed- Alhaji Lamido Sanusi

Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi says the apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, has confirmed to him that the Arabic inscription, known as Ajami, would not be removed in the redesigned currency. Ajami is a centuries-old practice of writing other languages using the modified Arabic script, deeply embedded in local histories and socio-cultural practices, mediating commerce, politics and social life in many regions of West Africa.

Ajami on 1,000 Naira note.

In a video in the Hausa language that was widely shared on social media, the former emir of Kano made this observation in order to debunk rumors that the CBN intended to remove the Arabic inscription.

The N100, N200, N500, and N1,000 notes will be replaced by December 15, 2022, according to plans revealed by the CBN on Wednesday.
However, there were conflicting reactions to the announcement made by the apex bank, with some Islamic scholars suggesting that the redesign of the naira was a part of a scheme by the CBN governor to erase the Ajami inscription.
Alhaji Sanusi appealed to religious leaders to desist from spreading unverified and misleading information to the public.

He advised Islamic preachers to always verify and seek clarification on issues that are not clear to them, instead of acting on unsubstantiated claims.

Continuing, he 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 authoritively 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.

Adding that, 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”.


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