During a press meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria announced that the CBN will release re-designed naira notes by December and existing old notes will no longer be accepted as a medium of exchange from January 31, 2023.
The Central Bank of Nigeria had mentioned that 85 percent of the current currency still in circulation is being hoarded by Nigerians, encouraging all Nigerians to deposit their Naira notes in the bank.
The re-designed denominations are N100, N200, N500 and the N1,000 naira notes. These notes were also re-designed as a result of a request from the federal Government of Nigeria. Deposit charges has hereby been suspended on transactions below N150,000.
The last time the Central Bank of Nigeria re-designed the naira notes was in 2014, in celebration of Nigeria’s centenary.
‘Although global best practice is for central banks to redesign, produce and circulate new local legal tender every 5–8 years, the Naira has not been redesigned in the last 20 years.
‘On the basis of these trends, problems, and facts, and in line with Sections 19, Subsections a and b of the CBN Act 2007, the Management of the CBN sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, and circulate new series of banknotes at N100, N200, N500, and N1,000 levels,’ he said.
The new currency will be in circulation from December 15, 2022 and old ones will no longer be accepted as a legal tender. The CBN has told every commercial banks to return the old currency back to it with immediate effect.
‘The newly designed currency will be released to the banks in the order of first-come-first- serve basis,” he said.
‘Customers of banks are enjoined to begin paying into their bank accounts the existing currency to enable them withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins in mid-December 2022.
‘All banks are therefore expected to keep their currency processing centers open from Monday to Saturday so as to accommodate all cash that will be returned by their customers.’
‘We would like to use this opportunity to reassure the general public that the CBN would continue to monitor both the financial system in particular, and the economy in general, and always act in good faith for the achievement of the Bank’s objectives and the betterment of the country,’ said Emefiele, the CBN governor.