The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that currency in circulation dropped by 4.02 per cent to N1.96 trillion in April.
The apex bank on its official website said currency in circulation in March was N2 trillion in March, the highest so far this year.
The apex bank for last month, February said currency in circulation was at N1.94 trillion while in January, it opened at N1.945 trillion from N2.15 trillion in December 2017.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that, N2.15 trillion reported by CBN was the highest naira in circulation reported in 2017.
The CBN’s economic report for fourth quarter of 2017 had disclosed that, “at N2.15 trillion, currency-in-circulation rose by 21.1 per cent, above the level in the third quarter of 2017. The development reflected the growth in currency outside banks.
“Total deposits at the CBN amounted to N13.17 trillion, indicating 7.5 per cent increase over the level at the end of the third quarter of 2017. The development was as a result of the rise in the deposits of banks, Federal Government and the “Others” in the review quarter.
“Of the total deposits at the CBN, the shares of the Federal Government, Banks and „ Others were N6,018.10 billion (45.7 per cent), N4,320.37 billion (32.8 per cent) and N2,834.02 billion (21.5 per cent), respectively.
Currency in circulation between November and December 2017 was at N1.79 trillion and N1.89 trillion respectively, the CBN revealed on its website
CBN disclosed that the currency in circulation, which is the physical money used for transactions between consumers and businesses, open this year at N1.99 trillion and closed in February at N1.97 trillion.
Currency analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ezun, had hinted that excess liquidity in the economy is due to Yuletide celebration that has leveraged on growth in currency in circulation, stressing that Nigerians are finding it difficult to embrace the cash policy of the CBN.
“The market is liquid and it is due to current season of the year. We have seen a lot of Treasury Bills that have matured which the CBN has not rolled over. Market is awash with liquidity coming from CBN suspension of Open Market Operation (OMO) and slow down in the foreign exchange sales.”
He explained further that Nigeria is still more of a cash economy, facing infrastructure challenges.
“Someone can blame infrastructure deficit on CBN’s good intention of making Nigeria a cashless society. The infrastructure that will make the cashless policy work is missing compared to what we have in Kenya.
The apex bank in 2002 introduced the cashless policy to eliminate the amount of physical cash (coins and notes) circulating in the economy, and encouraging more electronic-based transactions (payments for goods, services, transfers, among others.)