Naira design: CBN policy yields fruit as customers deposit N165 billion old notes

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The recent plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to redesign the naira notes has started giving the needed results as about N165 billion have been deposited just a month after the announcement was made.

This was disclosed by Mr Rasheed Adams, the Director of Currency at CBN during a briefing of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

Adams noted that the amount received is far beyond the total receipts it expects, adding that there will be no extension on the January 23rd, 2023 deadline.

Recall the President, Muhammadu Buhari had just yesterday, unveiled the newly designed N1,000, N500 and N200 notes, a feat which marks the first time in 19 years, Nigeria will be redesigning its currency notes.

The unveiling comes just about a month after the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele on October 26, 2022 announced the planned redesign of the high denomination naira notes.

Emefiele had disclosed the notes would be redesigned by December 15, 2022, but the recent unveiling suggests the apex bank would make the new notes available much sooner than it announced.

According to the CBN Governor, the existing notes would cease to be considered legal tender by January 31, 2023, while arguing on the need to stop the continuous hoarding of Naira notes by the public.

Emefiele revealed that statistics showed that over 80% of the currency in circulation – about N2.7 trillion – was outside the vaults of commercial banks.

While speaking on the amount deposited since the announcement to redesign the notes was made, Adams expressed concerns that in spite of some waivers by the apex bank on deposits, just a few Nigerians have come forward.

For instance, most commercial banks had announced they will remain open on weekends to allow Nigerians to come forward to make deposits.

Some of the customers had however requested for an extension on the deadline, an appeal which has met a brick wall as the bank has confirmed the January 23rd, 2023 deadline date is sacrosanct.