By Oluwashina Iyanda
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday in Abuja, unveiled the new naira notes as proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Buhari unveiled the new banknotes before the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the state house, Abuja.
Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, was in attendance during the ceremony.
The NewsZenith reports that in October, the CBN announced its plan to redesign some of the naira notes.
It gave Dec 15, the date to start circulating the new notes.
The Apex bank said it would redesign the naira notes in order to control the amount of currency in circulation, manage inflation and combat counterfeiting.
“These challenges primarily include hoarding of banknotes by members of the public
“Statistics show that over 85 per cent of the currency in circulation are outside the commercial banks’ vaults,” Emefiele said.
To be more precise, as of the end of September 2022, the CBN’s data indicated that N2.73 trillion of the N3.23 trillion in currency in circulation was held by the general public outside the country’s commercial banks’ vaults.
“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.
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“This is a worrisome trend that cannot be allowed to continue,” the CBN chief said.
The apex bank stated that it had made provisions for simple exchange in response to worries about Nigerians in rural areas, particularly given the short deadline for submitting the old notes.
To ensure that vulnerable citizens are not disadvantaged, CBN said it is collaborating with some financial system agencies during implementation.
There is a progressive increase in financial access points and alternative banking channels over the years.
Such channels include electronic/internet banking, mobile apps, ATM, Cards/PoS, eNaira and agent banking among others,
The Bank acknowledged that these may not be evenly distributed across all geopolitical zones and in some rural areas.
“In operationalising this initiative, the CBN is collaborating with relevant stakeholders in the financial system in its execution.
“This is to ensure that vulnerable citizens are not disenfranchised,” a statement by the Apex Bank said on Nov. 1.
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