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The President, Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, said the naira notes are long overdue for a change as the current tender has been in circulation for nearly 20 years.
This was as he said the newly redesigned notes have unique security features that make them difficult to counterfeit.
According to a statement signed by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari also expressed delight that the redesigned currencies were locally produced by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC.
The statement is titled ‘Why I approved the redesign of Naira notes, by President Buhari at the launch of ₦200, ₦500, ₦1000 banknotes.’
Speaking at the launch of the new banknotes, the President noted that international best practice requires central banks and national authorities to issue new or redesigned currency notes every five to eight years.
He lamented that it is almost 20 years since the last major redesign of the country’s local currency was done.
‘‘This implies that the Naira is long overdue to wear a new look.
‘‘A cycle of banknote redesign is generally aimed at achieving specific objectives, including but not limited to: improving the security of banknotes, mitigating counterfeiting, preserving the collective national heritage, controlling currency in circulation, and reducing the overall cost of currency management,” he said.
He added that “the new Naira banknotes have been fortified with security features that make them difficult to counterfeit.’’
Explaining why he approved the redesign, the President said there is an urgent need to control the amount of currency in circulation.
‘‘As is known, our local laws – specifically the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007 – grant the Central Bank of Nigeria the power to issue and redesign the Naira. In line with this power, the Central Bank Governor approached me earlier in this year to seek my permission to embark on a currency redesign project. I considered all the facts and reasons presented before me by the Central Bank.
‘‘There was an urgent need to take control of currency in circulation and to address the hoarding of Naira banknotes outside the banking system, the shortage of clean and fit banknotes in circulation, and the increase in counterfeiting of high-denomination Naira banknotes.
“It is on this basis that I gave my approval for the redesign of the ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 banknotes,” Buhari said.
The President said while it may not be apparent to many Nigerians, only four out of the 54 African countries print their currencies in their countries, and Nigeria is one.
cash, it should not take more than 100 days to deposit it in your bank and take whatever money you need. We have made adequate arrangements. The banks have been told to keep their currency processing centres open from Mondays to Saturdays, even to late hours every day. We have also offered that the Central Bank of Nigeria currency processing centres across the 36 states of the federation, including Abuja, will be available to process cash from Mondays to Saturdays.
“We have also made available through our agency banking arrangement. In 2018, we had 86,000 touchpoints for agency banking. As of October last month, the number of those with banking system touchpoints under our agency banking arrangements is 1.4 million points. So, there is no local government where you don’t have agent bankers that can do this on our behalf.”