The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that it lost track of N2.7 trillion of the country’s currency in circulation as of June 2022. The Apex bank however, noted that about 84.71 percent of the country’s currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks across the country. In her opening remarks at a Sensitisation of stakeholders on Currency Redesign, held at Ayegbaju Market, Osogbo, Osun State capital, on Friday, the Branch Controller of CBN, Osogbo branch, Madojemu Ajuma Daphne lamented that Nigerians were hoarding bank notes, and have refused to take them to banks.
Daphne said: “Statistics show that N2.72 trillion out of the N3.26 trillion currency in circulation as at June 2022 was outside the vaults of commercial banks across the country, and supposedly held by members of the public. Represented by Adebayo Oluyemisi Omosolape, Daphne further explained that statistics shows that 84.71 percent of currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks, with only 15.29 percent in the Central Bank and Commercial banks’ vaults. While explaining the features of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes, Daphne said that the redesigned banknotes would enhance security, greater durability, and are attractive. She hinted that the current series being withdrawn from circulation will cease to be legal tender after January 31, 2023. “The new design and current series are to circulate side by side until January 31, 2023 when the current series ceases to be legal tender,” she said. She however charged Nigerians to ensure that they deposit the cash in these denominations at the commercial banks, saying that there is no limit to how much a customer can deposit between now and January 31, 2023, as the CBN has suspended bank charges.
“We encourage the public to explore other payment channels, such as eNaira, POS, electronic transfer, USSD, internet banking, and mobile money operators and agents, for their economic activities. “There is increasing ease by criminals and risk of counterfeiting evidenced by several security reports received at the Central Bank of Nigeria. “The benefits of the currency redesign to the Nigerian economy are enormous given that this policy will help to control inflation as the exercise will bring the hoarded currency into the banking system, thereby making monetary policy more effective,” she said. Adeleke Adelokun, the Deputy Director Central Bank of Nigeria said that the CBN has printed enough new naira notes, but that they discovered that most of the banks have not collected the money.