CBN opposes suit to remove Arabic inscriptions on Naira note

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has opposed a bid that wants it to remove the arabic inscriptions on Naira notes. 

As reported by Vanguard, the apex bank told the Federal high court that rebranding the Naira notes would cost it ‘colossal sum of money’. 

It also said that the inscriptions do not threaten the unity of Nigeria or show any ties to Arabian communities. 

The CBN said these in response to a suit filed by Lagos-based lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo, that the Arabic inscriptions portray Nigeria as an Islamic country. 

The lawyer said that this is a sharp contrast to the sections 10 and 55 of the Nigerian constitution that recognised Nigeria as a multi-religious country. 

Section 10 states: “The government of the Federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as the state religion.” 

The submitted suit before Justice Mohammed Liman requested the CBN to stop, “further approving, printing and issuing naira notes with Arabic inscriptions, bearing in mind that Nigeria is a secular state”.

However, in a counter-bill by CBN, it said that the “Arabic inscriptions do not connote any religious statements or Arabian alignment”

“The inscriptions on the country’s currencies do not and at no time have they threatened the secular statehood of the nation, nor have they violated the Constitution of Nigeria, as every design and inscription was finalised with the approval of the relevant government bodies.”

“The naira notes retained the inscriptions with Ajami since 1973, when the name of the Nigerian currency was changed to naira from pounds.

“The Ajami was inscribed on the country’s currency by the colonialists to aid those without Western education in certain parts of the country, who, back then, constituted a larger part of the populace.

“The Ajami is not a symbol or mark of Islam but an inscription to aid the populace uneducated in Western education in ease of trade.” the CBN said

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