The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has responded to concerns that its widely anticipated redesign of naira notes was merely a colour change of the notes without additional security features, saying it had limited time to redesign the 200, 500 and 1000 bills.
The bank said the new colours provided additional security.
Ahmed Umar, the Director, Currency Operations of CBN, said this at a three-day workshop organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), for members of the Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) and Business Editors, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mr Umar was represented by the bank’s Amina Halidu-Giwa, the Head, Policy Development Division, Currency Operations Department of the bank.
Asked by journalists why the new notes were so “simple”, Mrs Halidu-Giwa said, ”We want to solve a problem and we have limited time to do that. Redesigning is about change of colour or size. The ink itself is a security feature.”
She said the bank has no plan to introduce N5,000 notes. NAN reports that the workshop, which opened on Monday in Port Harcourt, has as its theme: “Building Depositors Confidence Amidst Emerging Issues and Challenges in the Banking Industry.”
Mrs Halidu-Giwa who spoke on the topic, “Redesign of the Naira: Benefits to the financial system and the Nigerian economy”, said the apex bank was not carrying out note restructuring.
“We are not introducing any new note because there was noise, some people have seen one N5000 note that we don’t know about,” she said.
She explained that if the apex bank wanted to carry out note restructuring, it would need to coin the lower bills, like the N100 note for example.
She also said that the apex bank had not made any provision for exchange in the redesigned note, adding that what it was printing would only replace the currencies withdrawn.
“What we are printing is going to be very limited because we want other means of settling transactions to be used.
“Because Nigerians and cash, there seems to be a problem. And it will give us enhanced visibility and control of the currency.
“We will also be able to control the number of banknotes outside,” she said.
The bank said the redesign will encourage expanded financial inclusion and other forms of electronic transactions. According to her, it will discourage excessive carrying of cash and encourage other electronic means of transactions.
He said that when the un-banked were fully captured in the financial system, it would help form adequate data for effective planning for greater economic growth.
”Naira redesign will also help in reducing cash management expenditures, give visibility and control and will help the bank to know the volume of money in circulation.
”It will also help in fighting counterfeiting and money laundering,” she said. (NAN)