Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele on Sunday, revealed that part of the reasons the Federal Government decided on the redesign of currency denominations was the fact that N2.7trillion was lying idle in people’s homes prior to 2015 when the Buhari administration came on board.
He said as at 2015 currency-in-circulation was only N1.4 trillion, while as at October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion, out of which only N500 billion was within the banking industry.
“N2.7 trillion was held permanently in people’s homes,” Emefiele stated after he paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina state, where both parties approved of a ten day extension for old currency swap.
Giving further explanations, the Apex bank Governor said ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.
He said since the commencement of the currency redesign and other monetary programmes, about N1.9 trillion have been collected, leaving us with about N900 billion (N500 billion + N1.9 trillion).
With the approval of the President, the deadline for the currency swap has been moved from January 31, 2023 to February 10, 2023.
Buhari had on Sunday, urged the CBN to allow more time, discretion and order to enable Nigerians successfully change their currencies to the redesigned notes, and reduce the risk of loss, especially among the underserved in rural areas.