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Currency in circulation hits N2.60trn — up by 88% in six months

DMO: Nigeria's public debt now N97trn, rose by N9trn in Q4 2023 DMO: Nigeria's public debt now N97trn, rose by N9trn in Q4 2023

Nigeria’s currency in circulation climbed to N2.60 trillion in June 2023, representing the highest in the year.

Currency in circulation (CIC) is the amount of cash in paper notes or coins issued by the apex bank to conduct transactions.

According to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the figure rose by 88 percent from N1.39 trillion in January to N2.60 trillion in June 2023.

The amount of currency in circulation in Nigeria fluctuated in the first half of 2023. In January, it stood at N1.39 trillion and fell to N982,097 billion in February.

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However, currency circulation rose to N1.68 trillion in March. In April, May, and June, it increased to N2.48 trillion, N2.53 trillion, and N2.60 trillion, respectively.

In October 2022, the CBN announced that it would be redesigning three of the existing banknotes: the N200, N500, and N1000 notes. The new notes were due to be circulated on December 15, 2022, while the old notes would remain legal tender until January 31, 2023.

The apex bank said it decided to redesign the banknotes because of concerns about the management of currency in circulation, particularly those outside the banking system.

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The CBN said currency management has faced several challenges in recent years, including counterfeiting, the use of cash for illegal activities, and the hoarding of banknotes by members of the public.

At the time policy was introduced, the bank explained that over 80 percent of the currency in circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks.

However, the policy was met with widespread disapproval by Nigerians.

Five months later, the present government reversed course, allowing the use of both the old and new notes until the end of 2023.

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TheCable wrote a timeline of the major events in the five months when the naira — Nigeria’s currency — was scarce due to the demonetisation policy of the CBN.

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