President Muhammadu Buhari celebrated the new Naira banknotes’ domestic production by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) PLC at their unveiling on Wednesday, November 23, in Abuja.
The president gave a detailed explanation of the reasons behind his consent for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the 200, 500, and 1000-naira banknotes during the launch of the new banknotes, which preceded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
According to President Buhari, ‘‘the new Naira banknotes have been fortified with security features that make them difficult to counterfeit.’’
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He also added that the new banknotes would help the Central Bank design and implement better monetary policy objectives; as well as enrich the collective memory of Nigeria’s heritage.
President Buhari commended the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and his Deputies for the initiative; while also thanking the Managing Director, Executive Directors and Staff of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC; for working tirelessly with the apex bank to make the currency redesign a reality; as well as for printing the new Naira notes within a comparatively short time.
The President acknowledged that it has been close to 20 years since the last significant redesign of the nation’s local currency was carried out.
He noted that, in accordance with international best practice; central banks and national authorities should issue new or redesigned currency notes every 5 to 8 years.
Buhari said, “This implies that the Naira is long overdue to wear a new look.
‘‘A cycle of banknote redesign is generally aimed at achieving specific objectives; including but not limited to: improving security of banknotes, mitigating counterfeiting, preserving the collective national heritage; controlling currency in circulation, and reducing the overall cost of currency management.
‘‘As is known, our local laws – specifically the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007 – grants the Central Bank of Nigeria the power to issue and redesign the Naira.
‘‘In line with this power, the Central Bank Governor approached me earlier in this year to seek my permission to embark on a currency redesign project. I considered all the facts and reasons presented before me by the Central Bank.
‘‘There was an urgent need to take control of currency in circulation and to address the hoarding of Naira banknotes outside the banking system; the shortage of clean and fit banknotes in circulation, and the increase in counterfeiting of high-denomination Naira banknotes. It is on this basis that I gave my approval for the redesign of the ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 banknotes.
‘‘While this may not be apparent to many Nigerians; only 4 out of the 54 African countries print their currencies in their countries, and Nigeria is one. Hence, a majority of African countries print their currencies abroad and import them the way we import other goods.
‘‘That is why it is with immense pride that I announce to you…These redesigned currencies are locally produced right here in Nigeria by our Security Printing and Minting PLC.”