Nigeria’s Central Bank has announced it will redesign the N200, N500 and N1000 Naira notes.
In a special press briefing, the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele said the new notes will come into circulation from 15 December 2022.
Emefiele said the bank has received approval from President Muhammadu Buhari.
“In line with this approval, we have finalised arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation from December 15, 2022” but added, “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“.
The bank boss said the goal is to retake control of the large currency in circulation outside the bank vaults.
“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,” he said.
Emefiele said the move will also help thwart the activities of terrorists and kidnappers from capitalizing on the large cash outside the bank’s reach.
But critics say the CBN’s printing of Naira to lend to the cash-strapped central government to offset government budgetary deficits has led to currency devaluation, high inflation and rising poverty
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