(Ecofin Agency) - Amid a never-ending inflation, the Central Bank of Nigeria wants to combat counterfeited naira. It plans to replace the NGN100, 200, 500 and 1,000 bank notes currently circulating with new ones by the end of January 2023.
The Nigerian Central Bank (CBN) will put new naira banknotes in circulation by December 15, 2022, governor Godwin Emefiele (photo) announced at a press conference in Abuja.
The measure, and several others, aims to fight banknote hoarding. According to the CBN, at least 80% of the local currency in circulation is outside commercial banks’ vaults. The institution therefore wants to regain control of its money supply by forcing Nigerians to return the bills to the CBN.
The other main objective of this initiative is to avert counterfeiting risks as the versions currently in circulation in Nigeria are 20 years old. "Indeed, recent development in photographic technology and advancements in printing devices have made counterfeiting relatively easier. In recent years, the CBN has recorded significantly higher rates of counterfeiting especially at the higher 6 denominations of N500 and N1,000 banknotes," Godwin Emefiele said.
The announcement comes as the Nigerian economy is battling an inflationary crisis, which is affecting most African economics. Despite successive rate hikes, the country’s inflation rose to 20.77% in September.
For the CBN governor, the new banknotes would positively impact inflation. The measure will affect the 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 naira notes. The new notes have already been approved for redesign, production and circulation by President Muhammadu Buhari. The versions currently in circulation will no longer be legal tender by January 31, 2023.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou