The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday said that President Muhammadu Buhari will formally unveil the new Naira notes on Wednesday.
Emefiele disclosed this during a news conference in Abuja.
The CBN had on October 26 announced its plan to redesign 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes. It gave December 15, 2022 as the date to start circulating the new notes.
The unveiling of the new notes by President Buhari will precede the weekly cabinet meeting at the State House in Abuja.
According to Emefiele, the redesigned naira notes are to ensure control of the amount of currency in circulation; while also enabling it to manage inflation and tackle counterfeiting.
“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 at 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.”
Responding to concerns about Nigerians in the rural areas especially as the timeframe for submission of the old note is short, the bank said it has made provision for easy exchange.
The CBN Governor said it is working with relevant agencies in the financial system in its execution, particularly in ensuring that vulnerable citizens are not at disadvantage.
“Whilst noting the progressive increase in financial access points and alternative banking channels over the years (electronic/internet banking, mobile apps, ATM, Cards/PoS, eNaira, agent banking, etc.), the Bank acknowledges that these may not be evenly distributed across all geopolitical zones and in some rural areas.
“In operationalizing this initiative, the CBN has been collaborating with relevant agencies and other stakeholders in the financial system in its execution, particularly ensuring that vulnerable citizens are not disenfranchised,” a statement by the bank said on November 11.