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MISLEADING: Viral WhatsApp message on new Naira policy, from 2007

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Claim: CBN has announced a strategy to restore the Naira’s value.

MISLEADING: Viral WhatsApp message on new Naira policy, from 2007

Verdict: MISLEADING. Our findings show that the Central Bank has yet to announce any recent strategy for the Naira. The organisation’s media unit also debunked the message. The alleged content is a manipulated copy of the 2007 Strategy Agenda for the Naira.

Full Text

Amidst the continuous fluctuation in the value of the Naira against the United States (US) Dollar, a WhatsApp message claims that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a new policy that would restore the value of the Naira, in which N1.25 would be equal to $1.

“Breaking News: Central Bank of Nigeria is about to introduce a new Naira policy by November 2023 that would make $1 USD exchange = N1.25.”

“The new ‘Strategic Agenda for the Naira’ was announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, generating a healthy national debate. Before we undertake a nationwide enlightenment program (beginning November 2) to educate the public on the new policy, it is important to clarify some of the issues/questions that are emerging,” part of the message reads.

According to this message tagged as breaking news, the decision by the CBN was taken due to the directive of President Bola Tinubu to slow down inflation.

The message advised that anyone with the old Naira should get ready to switch to the new one. It also encouraged readers to reshare for awareness.

The virality of the claim and several requests from our WhatsApp community prompted us to verify it.

Verification

A keyword search led to an article on the CBN website. The article revealed that the new “Strategic Agenda for the Naira” by the Central Bank of Nigeria was announced on August 14, 2007.

According to the 2007 article, the 4-point agenda was designed to make the Naira the “Reference Currency in Africa” a part of the Financial Systems Strategy 2020 (FSS2020).

MISLEADING: Viral WhatsApp message on new Naira policy, from 2007
A screenshot of the 2007 Naira policy.

Comparing the article on the 2007 Naira design policy and the said new policy, we observed the alleged new policy brief copied that of 2007 and only changed the dates.

Scanning through the News segment of the Central Bank’s website, we saw no news or announcement of the alleged new Naira strategy. The only article on money was a communique at the monetary committee meeting, published on September 6, 2023.

However, after we requested the CBN’s comment on the viral post, they issued a disclaimer to the press, stating the message was false. They also shared it on their X ( Twitter) account.

MISLEADING: Viral WhatsApp message on new Naira policy, from 2007
Screenshots of the viral message were flagged as false by CBN.

We reached out to the spokesperson and special adviser to the president on media, Ajuri Ngelale, to know if any new Naira policy was ordered by the president as alleged by the claim, but we are yet to receive any feedback.

Conclusion

The viral WhatsApp message on a new Naira strategy is false. The content of the message is a revised copy of the 2007 Strategy Agenda for the Naira. The media unit of the Central Bank also debunked the claim.

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