The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it will begin the circulation of the newly designed naira notes on December 15, 2022.
Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, said this at a press conference on Wednesday.
While speaking at the briefing, Emefiele disclosed that the re-design, printing, release, and circulation of new series of banknotes at N200, N500, and N1000 levels followed the approval the management of CBN received from the President, Mohammadu Buhari.
The re-design of the new currency notes was due to the persisting concerns the apex bank is currently facing regarding the management of our existing series of banknotes and currency circulation, particularly those outside the banking system in Nigeria. The governor highlighted the worsening shortage of clean and fit bank notes with its attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability as one of the pressing concerns the apex bank is facing.
What the CBN is saying
The CBN explained that over the years, the CBN has recorded a significantly higher rate of counterfeiting, especially at the higher denominations of N500 and N1000 bank notes. It was emphasized that while it is considered best practice around the world for Central Banks to redesign, print, and distribute new legal money every 5-8 years, our current series of banknotes—the naira—has not undergone an update in the past 20 years.
“The bank reasonably determined to achieve the objective of its mandate as enshrined in Section 2B of the CBN act of 2007 to ensure a strong and effective legal tender”
“We have finalized the arrangement for the new currency to begin circulation from December 15th, 2022, after its launch by President, Muhammadu Buhari.”
“The new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies shall cease to be legal tender.”
The CBN also stated that “all Deposit Money Banks currently holding the existing denominations of the currency will begin returning these banknotes to the CBN, effective immediately. The newly designed currencies will be released on an order first-come-first-serve basis.”
The public was also advised by the bank to start depositing existing currency into their bank accounts so that they may withdraw the new banknotes once circulation started in mid-December 2022.
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