President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the new Naira notes redesigned by the Central Bank of Nigeria and printed locally by the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company.

The newly-designed currencies are in the denominations of ₦1000, ₦500 and ₦200 notes.

At the ceremony, President Buhari said the redesigned notes would checkmate the compromise that had prompted the breaches being experienced in the monetary system.

“International best practice requires Central Banks and national authorities to issue or redesigned currency notes every 5 to 8 years, yet is now almost 20 years since the last major redesign of our local currency.

This implies that the Naira is long overdue to wear a new look. A cycle of Bank notes redesign is generally aimed at achieving specific objectives, but not limited to improving the security of banknotes, mitigating counterfeiting, preserving the collective national heritage, controlling currency in circulation, and reducing the overall cost of currency management”, President Buhari explained.

The President debunked the insinuation that the redesigning of the notes was targeted at some individuals, stressing that it is done in good faith.

“There was an urgent need to take control of currency in circulation and to address the hoarding of Naira banknotes outside the banking system, the shortage of clean and fit banknotes in circulation, and the increase in counterfeiting of high denomination Naira bank notes. It is on this basis, that I gave my approval to the redesigning of the ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 Naira bank notes”, he said.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had emphasised that the decision to redesign the affected denominations was born out of the necessity to save the country’s integrity.

“Currency management in Nigeria has faced several challenges that have continued to grow in scale and sophistication with unintended consequences for the integrity of both the Central Bank of Nigeria and the country”.

Some of these challenges primarily include a significant hoarding of banknotes by members of the public, with statistics showing that ₦2.72 trillion, out of ₦3.26 trillion currency in circulation as of June 2022 was outside the vaults of our commercial banks across the country, and supposedly held by members of the public.

These statistics show that 84.71% of our currency circulations are outside the vaults of commercial banks, with only 15.29% at the Central Bank and the commercial banks’ vaults”, he said.

Mr Emefiele assured Nigerians that the policy would control inflation, as hoarded Naira notes would be brought back into the banking system and make the nation’s monetary policy more effective.

He said the redesigning of the currency would engender financial inclusion and pave the way for a cashless economy.

Abdullah Bello/Adetutu Adetule

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