Several Nigerian currency denominations have been redesigned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prevent serial abuse.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, who made this known during a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, said the apex bank had obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.
According to Emefiele, the process is a discharge of the apex bank’s key function of currency management.
“Currency management is the key function of the CBN as enshrined in the CBN Act. The integrity of a local legal tender, efficiency of its supply and its efficiency are some of the functions of a great central bank.
“In recent times, currency management has faced several challenges that have continued to escalate in scale and sophistication, with unintended consequences for both the CBN and the country. On the basis of these, and in line with the provision of CBN Act, the management of the CBN has sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of banknotes at N200, N500 and N1,000. In line with the approval, we have finalised arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation on Dec. 15,” he said.
Emefiele said the new currencies and the existing ones would remain legal tender and circulate together until Jan. 31, 2023. He urged Deposit Money Banks currently holding existing denominations to begin returning them back to the CBN immediately.
“The newly designed currencies will be released on the basis of ‘first come, first serve. Customers of banks are enjoined to begin payment into their bank accounts to enable them withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins,” he said.
He added that for the purpose of the exercise, bank charges for cash deposit are suspended with immediate effect.