The president of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside the governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele unveiled the new notes.
3 of Nigeria’s highest currency denominations, the N200 notes, N500 notes and N1000 were redesigned, and are slated to be reissued in the coming months. Needless to say, Nigerians were unimpressed with the new designs. Read the story here.
However, during Godwin Emefiele’s address in the council chambers, he stated that the redesign of the Naira was not for makeover purposes alone, but to tackle some of the issues devaluing the currency.
The president also spoke on the CBN’s initiative, revealing that this project has been in the works since the year began, even though the official announcement came in September.
Both leaders divulged that the country had failed to redesign and reissue new notes in the past 19 years, despite it being best practice to do so every 5-8 years.
Speaking at the unveiling, both President Muhammadu Buhari and Godwin Emefiele made some insightful remarks on the purpose of the redesign, and assured Nigeria that the move would further strengthen the value of the Nigerian currency.
Below are five of the most interesting reasons stated, why the Naira was redesigned.
Cashless Economy: Speaking to parliamentary members, the governor of the Central Bank noted that the world is going cashless as people perform financial transactions digitally. As a result the CBN would produce a limited amount of the new notes in order to encourage and truly embrace the use of digital transactions.
Counterfeit: The CBN governor noted that one of the most important features in the new note is that it contains properties that make it hard to counterfeit. Seeing as the currency has not been redesigned and reissued in a little under a decade, he disclosed that the amount of counterfeit currency out there has become insurmountable.
CBN’s new regulations: The CBN governor illustrated that new laws, regulating the volume of cash a person can have in their possession at a time, would be more intense. He revealed that if anyone wishes to withdraw more than the maximum amount of cash allowed, they would be probed and interrogated, and even after approval they would be subjected to painstaking procedures that would discourage anyone from withdrawing more than the CBN’s approved quota, and the use of said cash would be monitored.
Hoarding of bank notes: According to the CBN governor, N2.72 trillion out of N3.26 trillion are outside of commercial banks across the country and are supposedly held by members of the public. Only 15.29% of Nigeria’s currency are with banks and the CBN, the remaining 84.71% are being hoarded. He mentioned that if cash within an economy is in banking halls and not in the hands of the public who are hoarding, it would ultimately reduce inflation, as supply and demand of cash would be more easily regulated.
Accurate data: The CBN governor disclosed that issuing new notes would create a channel for collating more accurate data. This in turn would improve the country’s monetary policies as the CBN would be able to more easily investigate and determine cash that is intended for legal and illegal use.