The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday announced that the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes have been redesigned, a move to check counterfeiting and currency hoarding.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a special press briefing in Abuja said the new design and issues will be effective from December 15, 2022.
According to him, the action is taken in order to take control of the currency in circulation.
The CBN boss said he had obtained approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to roll out new notes to replace the existing currency in circulation.
He said, “In line with the provisions of Sections 2(b), Section 18(a) and Section 19, Seb section(a) and (b) (2007), the management of the CBN has sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of banknotes at N200, N500 and N1,00 levels,” he said. In line with this approval, we have finalised arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation from December 15, 2022 after its launch by President Buhari.
“The new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023 when the existing currencies shall cease to be a legal tender, he said.
Emefiele explained that once the new notes are designed Nigerians are expected to take old notes to banks for the new notes.
The CBN Governor is also concerned about how Nigerian currency is being stored currently.
According to him, the bulk of the nation’s currency notes was outside bank vaults and the CBN would not allow the situation to continue.
He further explained, “To be more specific, as of the end of September 2022, available data at the CBN indicates that N2.7 trillion out of the N3.3 trillion currency in circulation was outside the vault of commercial banks across the country and supposedly held by members of the public. Evidently, currency in circulation has more than doubled since 2015, rising from N1.46 trillion in December 2015 to N3.2 trillion as of September 2022. I must say that this is a worrisome trend that must not be continued to be allowed.”
By his explanation, the initiative by the CBN will help address some of the nation’s security threats, especially kidnapping and terrorism.
He believes that terrorists and kidnappers capitalise on the large excess of money to carry out their nefarious activities.