Next year, Nigeria will mark another milestone in its democratic journey, all things being equal.
The country will transit from one civilian rule to another, marking 22 years that civilians have held power since 1999.
Alongside the political changes that would herald 2023 will come economic policies and programmes shaping the country’s economy.
Whoever succeeds the incumbent government will have some tough economic decisions, which would most likely be spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Though the CBN’s statutory functions are primarily monetary, its decisions affect the economic well-being of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Going by recent events, the apex bank’s significant policies would kickstart from January 2023.
The National Domestic Card Scheme
Beginning January 16, the CBN, in partnership with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBBS), would seek to unify payments under the National Domestic Card Scheme.
Nigeria’s apex bank and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), including the Bankers Committee, will float a national card scheme to enhance the payment system in Nigeria.
Vanguard reports that the managing director of NIBSS, Premier Owoh, stated this during the Committee’s meeting on Thursday, October 20, 2022.
Owoh said the project has been approved and is the brainchild of CBN.
He said part of the project of the apex bank is that the National Domestic Card Scheme will be designed to help accelerate acceptance and efficiency and reduce operating costs of cards in the country.
According to him, the card will be configured to manage the payment ecosystem and improve payment across Nigeria.
New banknotes take over
Also, in January 2023, the newly redesigned naira notes would replace the old ones.
The CBN announced on October 26, 2022, that it would redesign the new naira notes.
President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the notes in Abuja on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
CBN stated that it would redesign N200, 500 and N1,000 notes and that they would begin circulating on December 15, 2022.
The apex bank said the old notes would cease to be legal by January 2023.
Emefiele may exit CBN
By 2023, Godwin Emefiele would have spent over eight years as governor of CBN.
According to the CBN Act, under Section 8(2) of the CBN Act, the CBN governor has a renewable term of five years, not exceeding ten years in two terms. The CBN governor is an appointed public officer in the public service of the Federation of Nigeria.
There were calls for the removal of the CBN governor when reports were rife that he had become partisan and wanted to run for the office of the president in 2023.
Going by the Act establishing the CBN, Emefiele would likely exit office in 2023.
Irrespective of how it pans out from January 2023 and beyond, there are CBN policies that would impact Nigerians. And we are still determining if the country would be better for it.