November 23, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled the redesigned Naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The new notes, which include N200, N500 and N1000, were formally unveiled on Wednesday, at the State House, Abuja, before the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.
At a briefing after the ceremony, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, debunked insinuations that the early unveiling of new notes is a means to target any Nigerian.
He maintained that there will be heavy restrictions on the volume of cash that people can withdraw over the counter, as it works with the EFCC, to monitor the purpose of any heavy transactions.
The apex bank on October 26 announced its plan to redesign the naira notes. The bank had said the initiative would control the currency in circulation, manage inflation, as well as tackle counterfeiting and issues of insecurity, especially ransom payment to kidnappers and terrorists.
While addressing journalists on October 26, Emefiele said currency management has faced several daunting challenges that have continued to escalate in scale and sophistication with attendant and unintended consequences for the integrity of both the CBN and the country.
“These challenges primarily include Significant hoarding of banknotes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 85 percent of currency in circulation are outside the vaults of commercial banks.
“To be more specific, as of the end of September 2022, available data at the CBN indicate that N2.73 Trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currency in circulation, was outside the vaults of Commercial Banks across the country; and supposedly held by the public.
“Evidently, currency in circulation has more than doubled since 2015; rising from N1.46 trillion in December 2015 to N3.23 trillion in September 2022. This is a worrisome trend that cannot be allowed to continue.
“Also, in view of the prevailing level of the security situation in the country, the CBN is convinced that the incidents of terrorism and kidnapping would be minimized as access to the large volume of money outside the banking system used as a source of funds for ransom payments will begin to dry up.
He had also said the redesign of the currency will help deepen CBN’s drive to entrench a cashless economy, as it will be complemented by increased minting of our eNaira.
“This will further rein in the currency outside the banking system into the banking system thereby making monetary policy more efficacious”, Emefiele had said.