The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reportedly pumped over N500bn ($1.2bn) worth of newly-designed naira notes into circulation through banks, with plans to increase the number to about N1tn ($2.4bn), according to the Nigerian daily The Nation. The country launched its new notes policy in December 2021. Reports suggest the CBN has found some powerful individuals used their associates to open new bank accounts to withdraw the new notes. The CBN is expected to carry out Know Your Customer (KYC) checks to ascertain compliance with regulations. Banks are reportedly keeping the new notes for priority customers to retain their high net worth clients.
The CBN has increased the amount of cash it released to banks, said an unnamed senior management official. Citizens, on the other hand, have been holding onto the new notes, the official added. The move to redesign the naira notes is part of efforts by the Nigerian government to ensure the currency is difficult to counterfeit. The redesign included changes to some of the security features of the existing notes. Reports say the CBN plans to continue with its plans to inject more cash into the economy by releasing the new notes, although it will be on the lookout for violations of banking regulations in the process.
The new notes are expected to make it harder for counterfeiters to produce fake currency. The CBN plans to release more cash into the economy to help to alleviate some of the pressures faced by citizens during the country’s current economic downturn. The central bank has been criticised for releasing too much money into the economy and not doing enough to stimulate growth. The CBN has defended itself, saying the move is designed to help boost economic growth and make the country more competitive. The government is facing mounting pressure from citizens to do more to help ease the economic challenges faced by Nigerians.
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