Arabic Inscriptions on Naira Notes Not a Symbol of Islam – CBN

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Arabic Inscriptions on Naira Notes Not a Symbol of Islam - CBN
Nwolu Obiajulu

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has kicked against a suit filed before the federal high court in Lagos asking for the removal of the Ajami (Arabic) inscriptions on the naira notes.
According to the defense presented by the bank, it will require a lot of money to discard already printed notes and print new ones without Ajami.
CBN equally said the Ajami is an inscription to help non-English speakers who are Ajami literate rather than a symbol or mark of Islam.
The bank disclosed this while countering a suit filed by Malcom Omirhobo, a Lagos-based counsel, presided by Mohammed Liman.
Omirhobo had in January 2020 filed a suit against the federal government, CBN, and attorney general of the federation over Arabic inscriptions on naira notes.
The counsel while opposing the inscription prayed the court to declare the inscription unlawful, claiming that as a secular country, it was best English language, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba were used instead.
CBN in its defense declared by Abiola Lawal said, “Ajami inscriptions on some of the country’s currencies 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 or have they violated the constitution of Nigeria, as every design and inscription was finalised with the approval of the relevant government bodies.
“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.
“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 apex bank added that doing away with the inscriptions from naira notes “would cost the tax-paying Nigerians and federal government colossal sum of money to discard the existing naira notes and print new ones in satisfaction of the plaintiff”.

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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