The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is redesigning the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, which have been scheduled to be put to use from December 15 this year.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this today, October 26, at a special media briefing in Abuja, hinted that the action was taken in order to take control of the currency in circulation.
According to Emefiele, the apex bank has secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to roll out new notes to replace the existing currency in circulation.
“In line with the provisions of Sections 2(b), Section 18(a) and Section 19, Sub 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.
“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.”
The CBN Governor is also concerned about how Nigerian currency is being stored currently, saying that the bulk of the nation’s currency notes had been outside bank vaults and that the CBN would not allow the situation to continue.
“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.”
According to Emefiele, the initiative by the CBN will help address some of the nation’s security threats, especially kidnapping and terrorism.
He noted that terrorists and kidnappers have been capitalizing on the large excess of money to carry out their nefarious activities.