JUST IN: Buhari unveils new Naira notes at Aso Rock

CBN insists the move is not directed at anyone

The President, Major General (retd.) Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday morning unveiled the newly designed N200, N500 and N1,000 denomination Naira notes.

Buhari unveiled the bills at the Council Chambers of the State House just before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting this week.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, fielded questions from correspondents after the event, stressing that the move was not directed against anyone.

Rather, he said the redesigned banknotes would give the central bank comprehensive control over the amount of money in circulation.

“This move is to enable the Central Bank of Nigeria to maintain control over the money supply in circulation

“There is no reason to believe that the programme is directed against anyone. In my speech at the launch of the programme, I said that planning for it began early this year. We carefully weighed the pros and cons.

“In the past, there has always been opposition to the redesign and reissuance of currencies. Only a president with the character of Muhammadu Buhari could have pushed this through,” he said.

At the briefing, Emefiele added that the amount of money that can be withdrawn over the counter will be drastically reduced, adding that bulk withdrawals will require multiple procedures and security checks to track their use.

This, he said, will ensure a steady transition to a cashless economy.

The CBN governor also pointed out that Nigerians have enough time to return the old bills, adding that the apex bank will not extend the deadline to January 31, 2023.

He said, “In 2018, we had 86,000 touch points nationwide where Nigerians could deposit and withdraw money. In October 2022, that number has increased to 1.4 million touchpoints.

“That means we have over 1.4 million bank branches, POS and other facilities where Nigerians can return the old bills.”

Emefiele said the apex bank will now redesign the currency every five to eight years, as required by the constitution.

Details forthcoming…

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