The total amount of currency-in-circulation in the country dropped from N3.29tn as of the end of October 2022 to N1.38tn as of the end of January 2023 as a result of the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Figures obtained from the CBN showed this represents a drop of N1.91tn in the three-month period.
The Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, had in October 2022, announced plans to redesign the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.
Emefiele also announced deadlines for Nigerians to swap their old with the new notes.
The banking sector regulator said, “Accordingly, all Deposit Money Banks currently holding the existing denominations of the currency may begin returning these notes back to the CBN effective immediately. The newly designed currency will be released to the banks in the order of first-come-first-serve basis.
“Customers of banks are enjoined to begin paying into their bank accounts the existing currency to enable them to withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins.”
He decried the challenges associated with currency management including significant hoarding of banknotes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 80 per cent of currency-in-circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks.
Other challenges, he added included shortage of clean and fit banknotes with attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability; and increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting evidenced by several security reports.