Nigerian Central Bank governor Godwin Emefiele in a press briefing on Wednesday shared that the apex bank would redesign the country’s currency.

The redesign will impact the ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1000 notes, with the redesigned notes expected to be in circulation by December 15, 2022, while the current Naira notes will no longer serve as legal tender from January 31, 2023, according to the CBN governor. 

“The Management of the CBN sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, and circulate new series of banknotes at ₦100, ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1000 levels,” Emefiele said.

The purpose of this exercise according to Emefiele is to reduce the inordinate amount of cash outside the control of banks and currency counterfeiting.

“Recent development in photographic technology and advancements in printing devices have made counterfeiting relatively easier,” Emefiele said. “In recent years, the CBN has recorded significantly higher rates of counterfeiting especially at the higher denominations of ₦500 and ₦1,000 banknotes.”

“Although global best practice is for central banks to redesign, produce and circulate new local legal tender every 5–8 years, the Naira has not been redesigned in the last 20 years.”

In response to a question about whether this exercise will impact the value of the Naira, Emefiele said, “I don’t want to admit that it’ll happen easily but we suspect that this will happen, that it will positively affect the value of the Naira. We do not want to dwell on speculation but on reality.”

Emefiele shared that as of September 2022, there was ₦3.2 trillion in circulation within Nigeria, of which ₦2.73 trillion was outside the vaults of the banks. 

“This trend of lots of money out of the bank vault is unacceptable, we want to have a firm grip on the money supply in Nigeria,” he said.

Emefiele noted that individuals with cash at hand can begin depositing their monies into their bank accounts from Thursday,  October 27, 2022, at no cost ahead of the disbursement of the new notes giving them 100 days to swap old notes for the redesigned notes.

This announcement comes a day after the CBN marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of the eNaira note. The CBN governor at that event shared that ₦8 billion has been processed on the eNaira platform in the past year.

“Thirty-three banks are fully integrated and live on the platform; ₦3 billion has been successfully minted by the bank; ₦2.1 billion has been issued to financial institutions; About 1 million (919,000) customers have been onboarded; Over 3,305 merchants have successfully registered on the eNaira platform across the country including Shoprite, Sahad Stores, A.A. Rano fuelling stations, Fraser Suites, November Cubes, among others; Over 700,000 transactions amounting to about N8bn have been recorded on the platform; Over 2.5 million daily visits to the eNaira website,” Emefiele said.

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