Naira redesign: Buhari unveils new notes today
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Tuesday that President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil the newly redesigned naira notes tomorrow, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this while taking questions from journalist at the monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.
Recall that Emefiele had on October 26, announced plans to redesign the 200, 500, and 1,000 naira notes to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.
He said the new notes will be in circulation as from mid-December 2022 while the old ones would cease to be legal tender on January 31, 2023.
However, Emefiele said on Tuesday that the CBN decided not to wait till the initial December 15 date of unveiling the redesigned naira notes.
He explained that tomorrow’s unveiling, coming 23 days earlier than the scheduled date, would help hasten the phasing out of the existing naira notes.
“100 days is enough for any person from any part of Nigeria to deposit his money in the bank and get his money when the new notes are released.
“By the special grace of God, tomorrow, which is the 23rd of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies and the new currencies will be unveiled tomorrow at the federal executive chamber by 10am,” he said.
Emefiele maintained that there will be no extension of the December 15 deadline
“The question that has been raised is that are we going to shift the deadline? The answer remains no, capital no. We will not shift any deadline. What we have done is not against the law. It is in tandem with the law. We announced this programme 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.
“For information, indeed, we are no longer waiting till December 15 to begin to unveil and begin to release the new notes. By the special grace of God tomorrow, which is the 23rd of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies and the new currencies will be unveiled tomorrow at the federal executive chambers by 10am,” he said.
He added that adequate arrangement had been made for Nigerians to take their cash to the bank.
When you talk about whether we have made adequate provisions to make sure that those who have cash are able to deposit their cash with the bank, my answer is yes. Because, on 26th of October I made it very clear. I said all banks will keep their currency processing centres open from Mondays to Saturdays. We went further (to) release the press release and said that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s 36 currency processing centres all over the country will also be left open from Mondays to Saturdays to receive cash. Three, we have deployed our agency banking network to receive, and in fact, pay cash when the new notes are released to those in our rural areas.
In 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria or banking industries agency license network was only at 86,000. As of October, 2022, our agency banking network has increased to 1.4 million all over Nigeria in almost all the local governments in Nigeria.
“I therefore cannot see any reason why anybody would say that he needs an extension because he can’t deposit his money in the bank, even if you’re in a rural area. And the agency networks is like saying that we have 1.4 currency points all over the country, then how can anybody come and say that he wants to shift the deadline because there are people in the rural areas that cannot deposit cash? That is a lie. They know what they have in mind and we will not go with them on that journey.
Our journey is that on January 31, 2023, all the old currencies will lose their legal tender status and we’ll begin to use the new currencies. We’re doing our work in line with the law that establishes us and we will continue to do so,” he said.