Counterfeit naira notes rise to 358,658 pieces in 3 years – CBN

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Story by Kayode Tokede

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said counterfeit notes in circulation increased to 358,658 pieces between 2016 and 2018.

The breakdown revealed that in 2016, a total of 120,869 was confiscated by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), securities agents, others. The figure of counterfeit notes increased to 118,126 and 119,663 pieces between 2017 and 2018 respectively.

According to the report by CBN on Tuesday, counterfeit notes recorded last year were mostly from security agencies, DMBs, CBN’s 24 processing centers and Bankers Warehouse Plc (BHW).

The report noted that the CBN, in collaboration with DMBs, BWH and security agencies, continued to intensify its efforts at mitigating the incidences of counterfeiting during the period under review.

The report stated that, “A total of 119,663 pieces of counterfeit notes with a nominal value of N98.82 million was recorded in 2018.

“This indicated a decline of 1.30 per cent in volume terms and an increase of 5.77 per cent in value terms, when compared with 118,126 pieces with a nominal value of N93.43 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

“The ratio of counterfeit notes to volume of banknotes in circulation was 18 pieces per million, compared to 16 pieces per million banknotes discovered in 2017.”

The report disclosed that N500 and N1000 denominations remained the most commonly counterfeited banknotes, which accounted for 65.29 per cent and 34.49 per cent respectively of the total counterfeit notes discovered.

According to the CBN report, “the increasing trend of counterfeiting of higher denomination banknotes underscores the need for more concerted efforts in managing the risk.

“The Bank would, however, sustain its publicity campaign, collaborative efforts with security agencies and collation of data on counterfeits, to mitigate the incidences of counterfeiting.”

The report explained that out of the total order of 3,351.34 million pieces of banknotes, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPM) delivered 2,653.31 million pieces or 79.17 per cent as at the end of December 2018, leaving a balance of 698.03 million pieces or 20.83 per cent.

“In addition, the company, under a domestication arrangement, delivered 22.89 million pieces of Nigeria’s N100 commemorative centenary banknote, awarded in 2014 to Crane Currency Sweden. As at 31st December 2018, a cumulative of 992.50 million pieces or 99.3 percent had been delivered. However, NSPM  had written to inform the Bank that the balance of 7,460,000 pieces was part of waste generated during the printing process involved in the domestication.

“Furthermore, the Management of the Bank approved the procurement of 2.42 million pieces of N500 denomination Banknotes produced by NSPM  in 2012, at a negotiated 50 per cent discounted price of N15.5 billion.”

The currency operations department of the CBN sustained the banknotes disposal operations in 2018 to ensure the circulation of clean banknotes.

“In pursuance of this objective, the Department deployed 12 Banknote Destruction Systems (BDS) and four Currency Disintegrating Systems (CDS) for currency disposal activities during the period under review.

“As at the end of December 2018, a total of 1,810.63 million pieces or 181,054 boxes valued at N915,075.17 million was disposed, compared with 2,575.18 million pieces or 257,501 boxes valued at N977,231.78 million disposed in 2017.

“The boxes of unfit notes disposed in 2018 decreased by 76,447 boxes, while the value decreased by N62,156.62 million or 6.36 per cent, compared with 257,501 boxes valued at N977,231.78 million disposed in 2017.”

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