The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained the reason for the “simplicity” of the naira redesign.
Ahmed Umar, director for currency operations, CBN, spoke at the 2022 workshop for business editors and members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Umar was represented at the event by Amina Halidu-Giwa, head, the policy development division, and currency operation department of the apex bank.
Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the redesigned naira notes.
However, many Nigerians expressed dissatisfaction over the new notes, saying that the naira was only repainted, not redesigned.
Fielding questions about the simplification, Umar said the apex bank had limited time to tackle the problem of counterfeiting currency hoarding, among others.
“We want to solve a problem and we have limited time to do that,” NAN quoted Umar as saying.
“Redesigning is about change of colour or size. The ink itself is a security feature.”
Umar said that the redesign of the notes were long overdue, adding that the N1000 notes had been in existence for 17 years, N500 for 21 years, and N200 for 22 years.
The CBN director said that contrary to rumors that the apex bank would print other denominations apart from the redesigned N1000, N500, and N200, no other denomination would be printed.
He said the naira redesign would encourage many unbanked Nigerians to be included in the financial system.
According to him, it will discourage excessive cash-carrying and encourage other electronic transactions.
He said that when the unbanked population is fully captured in the financial system, it would help form adequate data for effective planning for greater economic growth.
“Naira redesign will also help in reducing cash management expenditures, give visibility and control, and would help the bank to know the volume of money in circulation,” Umar said.
”It will also help in fighting counterfeiting and money laundering.”