The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that out of about N2.8trn in circulation it has recovered N1.9trillion while N900bn is yet to be collected.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele stated this in a release on Sunday.
Reiterating the rationale behind its policy of redesigning the naira, Emefiele said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, available data at the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown that in 2015, Currency-in-Circulation was only N1.4 trillion. As of October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking Industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes. Ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.
“So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected about N1.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion (N500b + N1.9 trillion).”
He listed a number of initiatives the apex bank introduced to ensure the success of the policy.
Emefiele added, “We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 per cent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitization team exercise.
Aside from those holding illicit/stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.”
The CBN governor confirmed that President Buhari “approved a 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to allow for collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN losses their Legal tender Status.”
He also said there will be a 7-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17, 2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its legal tender status.