Explainer: What you need to know about the new naira notes

The redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes were unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

The currency redesign was designed by the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to preserve the integrity of Nigeria’s legal tender, the efficiency of its supply and the effectiveness in the conduct of monetary policy as set out in Section 2 (b). The CBN Act of 2007.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said last month when plans to redesign the high-denomination notes were announced, “currency management has been faced with a daunting set of challenges that continue to grow in scale and complexity with unintended consequences. the integrity of both the CBN and the country.”

As of September 2022, data from the CBN showed that out of a total of 3.23 trillion manats in circulation, 2.73 trillion manats were outside the coffers of commercial banks across the country.

The country’s apex bank said this represented more than 84 percent of the currency outside the bank’s control.

“There was an urgent need to control the currency in circulation and hoard naira notes outside the banking system, lack of clean and proper notes in circulation, increasing counterfeiting of high denomination naira notes. It is on this basis that I have given my consent to the redesign of the N200, N500 and N1000 notes,” Buhari said at the launch.

According to Emefiele, the newly designed notes retained mostly all of their features except for the rebranding of their colors and the addition of new security features to make them “impossible to counterfeit”.

He said, “the notes have been designed to make sure that the new naira notes cannot be counterfeited due to the features in them.”

The new notes kept almost all the old features except for the new security features and their colors. The color of the new N1000 note is blue; the new N500 is green and the N200 is red.

All records contain original photographs of former leaders who distinguished themselves in the national political and socio-economic landscape.

Emefiele, who said it was regrettable that the naira had not been redesigned in the past 19 years, blamed the “lack of political will of the previous administrations”.

“I must admit that in the past, attempts by the CBN to redesign and reissue naira notes have been met with resistance. Only President Muhammadu Buhari has shown the courage to do this,” he said.

According to the CBN boss, global best practice is for central banks to redesign, produce and circulate a new local legal tender every 5-8 years.

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He said, “Based on these trends, challenges and facts and in accordance with Section 19, Sub-sections A and B of the CBN Act, 2007, the CBN sought and received the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign the management, N200, N500 and N1, 000 levels of new banknotes are produced and put into circulation.

“In line with this approval, we have finalized the arrangements for the new currency to enter circulation on December 15, 2022. The new and existing currencies will remain legal tender and will circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies will cease to be legal tender. tender.”

He therefore directed that all depository money banks (DMBs) currently holding existing denominations of the currency may begin returning these notes to the CBN with immediate effect.

Emefiele said: “The newly designed currency will be released to banks on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Banks’ customers have been instructed to start paying the existing currency into their bank accounts to enable them to withdraw the new notes after they start circulation in mid-December 2022. Therefore, all banks are expected to keep their currency processing centers open from Monday to Saturday. depositing all cashbacks to be returned by their customers.

“In order to switch from existing notes to new notes, bank payments on cash deposits are stopped immediately. Therefore, DMBs should note that no bank customer charges any commission on cash returned/disbursed to their account.

“Members of the public should note that current notes remain legal tender and should not be rejected as a medium of exchange for the purchase of goods and services.”

The governor said that his team is considering those living in rural areas and facilities will be created for them to open bank accounts or exchange their old notes with new ones.

He added that this action will also increase its share in solving the inflation problem.

He also assured that MBN will continue to monitor both the financial system and the economy in general and will always act in good faith to achieve the bank’s goals and improve the country.