President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled the newly redesigned naira notes today, Wednesday, 23rd November 2022 at the State House, Abuja.
The launch followed yesterday’s disclosure by the Central Bank of Nigeria that the president would launch the new banknotes today. The notes are in the N200, N500, and N1000 denominations.
Immediate circulation: During the MPC meeting on Tuesday, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele explained that the new banknotes will immediately start circulating after the launch, rather than wait for the initial date of December 15, 2022. According to the Governor, the new notes will help reduce the volume of currency in circulation, hence curbing the rising inflation rate.
Reason for redesign: He also reiterated the need for the redesign, noting that it was due to the higher rates of counterfeiting of N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
On the other hand, Nigeria is battling a record-high inflation rate, partly attributed to the increased amount of money in circulation. According to data from the CBN, Nigeria’s broad money supply rose past the N50 trillion margin in October, which is the highest level on record.
Similarly, currency in circulation is stated at N3.29 trillion, increasing by over N855 billion between January and October 2022. This is an indication of currency hoarding which has kept monetary policies somewhat ineffective against the rising cost of goods and services.
More details: The CBN explained that the new and existing naira notes shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies shall seize to be legal tender. Meanwhile, the apex bank has launched a countdown clock on its website showing when the old naira would stop being a legal tender.
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This means that Nigerians have about 69 days to deposit their old currencies in the bank and withdraw the new notes. The CBN has also instructed commercial banks in the country to work on Saturdays till the deadline date to enable customers to return their old notes for the new ones.