By Uche Amunike
President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled, Wednesday, Nigerian New Naira Notes spreading across the N1000, N500 and N200 denominations, at the Council Chambers of the State House, prior to the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council.
Speaking to Newsmen after the unveiling, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele stated that the move to produce Nigerian new Naira notes was not targeted at anyone.
Explaining, he said that the redesigned Naira notes would aid the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in having total control over the amount of money in circulation.
Hear him: ‘This move is to enable the Central Bank of Nigeria have control over the size of money in circulation.’
‘There is no need to think that the programme is targeted at anyone. During my speech at the unveiling, I said that plans for this started early in the year. We considered the pros and cons carefully.’
‘In the past, attempts to redesign and reissue currencies have been resisted. Only a President of Muhammadu Buhari’s character could have made it happen,’ he said.
He went on to add that the amount of money that is withdrawn from the bank counter will be reduced because bulk withdrawal will require lots of procedures and security checks which will help in monitoring its use. According to him, this will ensure is that a transition into a cashless economy.
He reminded Nigerians of the need to return their old notes in circulation as the CBN will not go beyond the January 31, 2023 deadline when it will cease to serve as legal tender, stating that there was still ample time for them to do so.
His words: ‘As of 2018, we had 86,000 touchpoints nationwide where Nigerians could deposit and withdraw money. In October 2022, that number has risen to 1.4 million touchpoints.’
‘That is to say we have over 1.4 million bank branches, POS points and other ancillary outfits to enable Nigerians return the old notes.’
He further stated that the Nigerian new Naira notes will henceforth be redesigned every five to eight years, according to what the Nigerian Constitution says.
Emefiele, went on to state the following as part of the reason for calling for the redesigning of Nigerian new Naira notes: there was a need to address the problem of individuals making currency fraud their major source of income. Therefore, people who have stashed away money that was stolen by them, for instance, will have no choice but to look for a way to change it bringing out the money, otherwise, they would not need it as a result of the difference in the value of the Naira.
Secondly, the Nigeria new naira notes will go along way to fatally deal with the growing case of kidnapping and ransom business in the country.
Thirdly, Emefiele reiterated that the redesigned Naira notes will go a long way in decreasing the rate of inflation in the country.