The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, will start circulating newly redesigned N200, N500, and N1000 naira notes from December 15, 2022.
Its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this on Wednesday during a special briefing, said the naira notes were redesigned sequel to the approval by the Federal Government.
He said in line with the transition from old notes to new ones, bank charges for cash deposits have been suspended with immediate effect.
According to him, the new and existing naira notes shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies shall seize to be legal tender.
“Currency management is a key function of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as enshrined in Section 2 (b) of the CBN Act 2007. Indeed, the integrity of a local legal tender, the efficiency of its supply, as well as its efficacy in the conduct of monetary policy are some of the hallmarks of a great Central Bank”, he added.
“In recent times, however, currency management has faced several daunting challenges that have continued to grow in scale and sophistication with attendant and unintended consequences for the integrity of both the CBN and the country”, noted the Governor.
“In recent years, the CBN has recorded significantly higher rates of counterfeiting especially at the higher denominations of N500 and N1,000 banknotes. Although global best practice is for central banks to redesign, produce and circulate new local legal tender every 5–8 years, the Naira has not been redesigned in the last 20 years”, he stated.
He explained that it was based on these trends, problems, and facts, and in line with sections 19, subsections a and b of the CBN Act 2007, that the management of the CBN sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, and circulate new series of banknotes at N100, N200, N500, and N1,000 levels.
“In line with this approval, we have finalized arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation on December 15, 2022. The new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023, when the existing currencies shall seize to be legal tender”, he stressed.
He said all deposit money banks currently holding the existing denominations of the currency are expected to begin returning these notes to the CBN effective immediately, as the newly designed currency will be released to the banks on the order of First-come-First-serve basis.
He also said customers of banks are also expected to begin paying into their bank accounts the existing currency to enable them to withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins in mid-December 2022.
Banks, he advised, are expected to keep open, their currency processing centres from Mondays through to Saturdays to accommodate all cash that will be returned by their customers.
“For the purpose of this transition from existing to new notes, bank charges for cash deposits are hereby suspended with immediate effect. Therefore, DMBs are to note that no bank customer shall bear any charges for cash returned/paid into their accounts. Members of the public are to please note that the present notes remain legal tender and should not be rejected as a means of exchange for the purchase of goods and services”, he maintained.