Buhari Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes

The President, Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled the redesigned naira notes.

Buhari Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes

Buhari unveiled the new currency notes at the Council Chambers of the State House on Wednesday morning before the federal executive council (FEC) meeting at the state house, Abuja.

The redesigned notes presented to the public are the N1000, N500 and N200 — the country’s highest currency denominations.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was in attendance during the unveiling ceremony.

Buhari Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes

Also present at the ceremony were Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to the president, and Folashade Yemi-Esan, head of the civil service of the federation.

It was reported on October 26, that the governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, announced the plan to redesign the naira to control the money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.

Buhari Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes

The CBN governor had said the new notes will be effective from mid-December 2022.

However, speaking on Tuesday at the monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, Emefiele said the bank will no longer wait till December 15 to “unveil and release” the new notes.

Emefiele, who had disclosed that Buhari would unveil the redesigned banknotes on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, insisted that CBN will not shift the January 31, 2023 deadline for the deposit of current N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

“We will not shift any deadline,” he said.

“What we have done is not against the law. It is in tandem with the law. We announced this program on October the 26th 2022. And we said that upon release of the new currency, the legal tender status will run concurrently with the old currency till 31st January 2023.

That is almost 100 days. 100 days is enough for any person in any part of Nigeria to deposit his money in the bank and get ready to withdraw cash when the new notes are released.”

Speaking during the unveiling, Buhari underscored the importance of redesigning the naira notes, saying it will help the country to address the issue of illicit financial flows, and corruption, and improve the economy and the value of the Nigerian currency.

He noted that the currency redesign will also help the CBN’s monetary policy initiative.

Buhari said the first set of the currency, which was printed locally by the Nigeria Printing and Minting Company, will prevent counterfeiting of the notes.

Buhari Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to embrace the new policy to redesign the naira.

Also speaking to State House correspondents after the brief ceremony,  Godwin Emefiele said that in line with the global practice, the naira was supposed to be redesigned and re-issued between five and eight years.

He regretted that in Nigeria, the naira has not been redesigned for about 19 years now because of a lack of political will from the previous leaders.

According to him, “In the past, I have to confess that attempts by the CBN to redesign and reissue the naira notes have been revised. It is only President Muhammadu Buhari that has the courage to do so.”

Emefiele said it was the mandate of the CBN, to redesign and reissue the notes, assuring that henceforth, the exercise would take place after five to eight years.

“After today, the CBN will begin to redesign and reissue the naira every five to eight years,” he said.

The CBN governor said that Nigeria has gone cashless and that security agencies would monitor people making withdrawals at the counter to know how much was withdrawn and also monitor the usage of the money.

He said there was no need to insinuate that the policy was targeted at anyone.

Buhari Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes

Emefiele said that the CBN was determined in ensuring that the provision of the law on the volume of money one should carry is followed.

“The world has moved to a cashless economy and the CBN has moved to a cashless economy. We will restrain the volume of cash someone will withdraw over the counter. We will follow up with the person’s data to know the reason for such withdrawal,” he said.

For those calling for an extension of time for the usage of the old notes, the CBN boss said, “we will not go with people that want an extension of time. From today, this currency that was re-issued will become a legal tender.”

He said there is no local government area in the country where there is no bank agent, adding that there are over one million points across the country where people should go and deposit the old notes.

He also assured that the new notes cannot be counterfeited because of their features in them.

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