The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to release new naira notes effective this December.
This was contained in a press release issued by the Governor General of the Bank, Godwin Emefiele yesterday.
Citing the hoarding of notes by members of the public, worsening shortage of clean and fit naira notes and increasing risk of counterfeit reports as challenges facing the Bank, Emefiele explained that these factors were affecting the integrity and reputation of the Central Bank.
The release read, ”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 denominations of N500 and N1,000 banknotes.”
Emefiele also noted that although central banks were expected to redesign and circulate new currency every 5-8 years, the current naira notes have been in circulation for 20 years.
He then said that new naira notes would be released into circulation this December. The affected denominations would be the 100, 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes respectively.
”In line with this approval, we have finalized arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation from December 15, 2022. The new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023 when the existing currencies shall seize to be legal tender.”
He directed deposit banks to return the current notes existing with them CBN adding that the new notes will be released to the banks on a first come first serve basis.
He also enjoined customers with large deposits of the existing currency to make cash deposits to their banks to ”enable them withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins in mid-December 2022” adding that banks are expected to keep their cash processing centres open Mondays to Saturdays for this reason.
Charges on cash deposits have also been suspended for the time being.
”Members of the public are to please note that the present notes remain legal tender and should not be rejected as a means of exchange for purchase of goods and services,” the release added.
Emefiele assured the general public of the Bank’s commitment to monitoring the Nigerian financial system and economy for the betterment of the country.