President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled the newly redesigned N1000, N500 and N200 notes, the first time in almost 20 years that Nigeria will redesign its currency.
The unveiling preceded the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House in Abuja.
Speaking at the unveiling, Mr Buhri said the new naira notes would help the government to address the issue of illicit financial flows and corruption.
He explained that the currency redesign would also help the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Initiative, and in extension the country’s economy.
According to him, the first set of currency which was printed locally by the Nigeria Printing and Minting Company would prevent counterfeiting of the notes.
CBN governor, Godwin Emiefele, said previous efforts by the apex bank to redesign and re-issue new notes have been resisted by Nigeria’s “political class”.
Mr Emiefele further explained that more than N2.73 trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currency in circulation was outside the banking sector, adding that it was unacceptable.
He, however, noted that with the development, the CBN would take control of the money supply by mopping up all cash within the vaults of banks and in the hands of citizens.
Hitherto slated for December 15, the unveiling was brought forward Wednesday by the CBN so as to beat the January 31, 2023, deadline to dispose of the old notes.