The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says President Muhammadu Buhari will unveil the newly redesigned naira notes on November 23, 2022.
Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, said this on Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists at the monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.
On October 26, Emefiele announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.
The governor had said the new notes (N200, N500 and N1000) will be effective from mid-December 2022.
However, on Tuesday, Emefiele said the bank will no longer wait till December 15 to “unveil and release” the new note.
He said the unveiling will now be done tomorrow — 23 days earlier than the scheduled date — by Buhari.
Also as part of efforts to curb rising inflation, the CBN also announced plans to reduce the volume of N500 and N1000 notes in circulation “over time”.
Emefiele claimed the effort is aimed at curbing the inflation rate which he partly blamed on the higher-denominated naira notes.
He started by using the UK as an example; “In the UK they have a denomination of 50 pounds but the most spent denomination is 20 pounds. Nobody spends 50 pounds. If you go around carrying 50 pounds in the UK they will suspect you in fact.”
And then compared this with Nigeria…“The reverse is what is happening in Nigeria. Nigerians want to carry N500 and N1000. And in fact, we are beginning to think that increasing the high denomination is also part of what is fueling inflation. So in fact, yes we will launch N200, N500, and N1000 over time we will reduce the volume of N500 and N100o in circulation. Let people carry N50 around. “
Electronic banking is the alternative – “if you want to do high-value transactions, embrace online, embrace our agency program, and embrace our mobile banking program that is what you need”