President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled the redesigned naira notes.
Buhari unveiled the new currency notes on Wednesday morning before the federal executive council (FEC) meeting at the state house, Abuja.
The redesigned notes presented to the public are the N1000, N500 and N200 — the country’s highest currency denominations.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was in attendance during the unveiling ceremony.
Also present at the ceremony were Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to the president, and Folashade Yemi-Esan, head of civil service of the federation.
Speaking during unveiling, Buhari underscored the importance of redesigning the naira notes, saying it will help the country to address the issue of illicit financial flows, corruption, improve the economy and the value of the Nigerian currency.
He noted that the currency redesign will also help the CBN’s monetary policy initiative.
Buhari said the first set of the currency, which was printed locally by the Nigeria Printing and Minting Company, will prevent counterfeiting of the notes.
He, however, appealed to Nigerians to embrace the new policy to redesign the naira.
On his part, Emefiele said the introduction of new notes was a deliberate step by government to check corruption and counterfeiting of the notes.
He added that, the naira notes currently in use will remain as legal tender till 31st January, 2023.
Meanwhile, the development is the first time in almost 20 years that Nigeria will redesign its currency.
On October 26, Emefiele, announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.
The CBN governor had said the new notes will be effective from mid-December 2022.
However, speaking on Tuesday at the monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, Emefiele said the bank will no longer wait till December 15 to “unveil and release” the new notes.
Emefiele, who had disclosed that Buhari would unveil the redesigned banknotes on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, insisted that CBN will not shift the January 31, 2023 deadline for the deposit of current N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
“We will not shift any deadline,” he said.
“What we have done is not against the law. It is in tandem with the law. We announced this program on October the 26th 2022. And we said that upon release of the new currency, the legal tender status will run concurrently with the old currency till 31st January 2023. That is almost 100 days. 100 days is enough for any person in any part of Nigeria to deposit his money in the bank and get ready to withdraw cash when the new notes are released.”