By Idris Bakare
The Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele has announced that President Buhari will launch the new Naira notes on the 23rd of November 2022.
This is well ahead of the earlier scheduled date of December 15th, 2022. The Governor made this known in his briefing to the media at the monetary policy communique held on November 22nd, 2022.
Mr. Emefiele also insisted that there is no going back on the January 31st data of ensuring all old currencies lose their legal tender status. Mr. Emefiele also said he is relying on their law to push this policy forward.
The Central Bank of Nigeria 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.
It was learnt that the unveiling of the new notes will precede the weekly cabinet meeting at the State House in Abuja.
The Central Bank said it would redesign Naira notes to have control of the amount of currency in circulation, and to enable it manage inflation and tackle counterfeiting.
“These challenges primarily include: Significant hoarding of bank notes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 85 per cent of currency in circulation are outside the vaults of commercial banks,” CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had said.
“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 Bank said it is working with relevant agencies in the financial system in its execution, particularly in ensuring that vulnerable citizens are not.