President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new Naira banknotes on Wednesday, expressing delight that the redesigned currencies are produced locally by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) PLC.
The President explained in detail the basis for his approval to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the 200, 500, and 1000 banknotes at the launch of the new banknotes, which preceded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
“The new Naira banknotes have been fortified with security features that make them difficult to counterfeit,” says the President.
He also stated that the new banknotes would assist the Central Bank in developing and implementing better monetary policy objectives, as well as enriching Nigerians’ collective memory of its history.
President Buhari praised CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele and his deputies for the initiative, as well as the Managing Director, Executive Directors, and Staff of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC for “working tirelessly with the apex bank to make the currency redesign a reality, and for printing the new Naira notes in a comparatively short time.”
Recognizing that international best practice requires central banks and national governments to issue new or redesigned currency notes every 5 to 8 years, the President noted that it has been nearly 20 years since the country’s last major redesign of its local currency.
This implies that the Naira is long overdue for a makeover.
“A cycle of banknote redesign is generally aimed at achieving specific objectives, such as improving banknote security, mitigating counterfeiting, preserving collective national heritage, controlling currency in circulation, and lowering overall currency management costs.
“As is well known, our domestic laws, specifically the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007, empower the Central Bank of Nigeria to issue and redesign the Naira.
“In accordance with this authority, the Governor of the Central Bank approached me earlier this year to seek my permission to embark on a currency redesign project. I considered all of the information and arguments presented to me by the Central Bank.
“There was an urgent need to seize control of the currency in circulation and address hoarding of Naira banknotes outside the banking system, a scarcity of clean and fit banknotes in circulation, and an increase in counterfeiting of high-denomination Naira banknotes.” I gave my approval for the redesign of the 200, 500, and 1000 banknotes on this basis.
“While many Nigerians may not realize it, only four of the 54 African countries print their own currency, and Nigeria is one of them. As a result, the vast majority of African countries print their currencies abroad and import them in the same way that we import other goods.
“As a result, it is with great pleasure that I inform you that these redesigned currencies are produced right here in Nigeria by our Security Printing and Minting PLC,” he said.
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, thanked the President for his unwavering support for the redesign and distribution of the new notes, which he said will control inflation, make policies more effective, ensure financial inclusion, and combat corruption.
The CBN Governor also stated that according to international best practice, notes should be redesign every five to eight years, and the currency in circulation had been in use for 19 years, with spiraling economic challenges, particularly in terms of security and counterfeiting.
Emefiele also praised President Buhari for insisting that the initial notes be designed and produced in Nigeria, putting even more trust in Nigerian Security Printing and Minting.
“Only a President of your esteemed and incorruptible stature, Mr. President, could have done what we are witnessing today,” he added.
The benefits of the redesigned naira notes, according to the CBN Governor, include increased security, greater durability, attractiveness, and promotion of rich cultural heritage.
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