Currency redesign: ISWAP opts for CFA, bans farmers, fishermen in Lake Chad from using naira


The Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), a terrorist group, has banned farmers and fishermen in Lake Chad from using the naira for transactions.


This is a result of the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign some new naira notes.


Last month, the CBN said it redesigned  N200, N500, and N1000 new naira notes. The new design and issues will be effective from mid-December 2022.


He advised Nigerians to take old notes to banks to enable them to withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins.


However, Zagazola Nakama, a counter-insurgency outfit in the Lake Chad region, expressed that information from intelligence sources said the currency redesign move has thrown ISWAP members far away from banks in the Tumbus of Lake Chad into confusion. 


According to the intelligence source, the terrorist group will find it extremely difficult to change their money into new currency notes. Therefore, the insurgents are now receiving the West African CFA Francs, which they intend to replace with the Nigerian naira as a trade currency.


“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 told Zagazola.


Ibn Umar and Malam Ba’ana, the terrorist commanders in charge of taxes and levies, who imposed the ban, said the people are only allowed to come through safe routes established by the terror group through Bulgaram, Cikka, Guma, Maltam, Doron Liman and  Ramin Dorina villages in Cameroon.


Meanwhile, the CBN noted that one of the reasons for redesigning some of the naira notes is to minimise 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.

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