GODWIN Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has revealed that about N2.72 trillion of old naira notes were kept in people’s homes before the bank began the currency swap programme.
Thead of the apex financial regulator today said available data had shown that currency-in- circulation in 2015 was only N1.4 trillion.
He said as at October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion, out of which only N500 billion was within the banking industry.
He said N2.7 trillion was held permanently in people’s homes.
Emefiele spoke in Daura, Katsina state after his meeting with President Buhari who approved a 10-day extension of the deadline for the swap and another seven days of grace.
Buhari also impressed on Emefiele the need for 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.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the CBN Governor said the currency swap had achieved more than 75 per cent success rate of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system.
He claimed there has been an evident drop in rate of inflation, more stability of foreign exchange rates, and noticeable impact on security, especially in banditry and kidnapping figures.
“First, I will like to thank Mr. President for giving the CBN the approval to embark on this ambitious programme because, like I said, in the past, the CBN has not had the opportunity to embark on such currency redesign programme in last 19 years and indeed, let me emphasize, that only an incorruptible leader of the President’s stature can give such approval to the CBN,” he said.
The CBN Governor noted that redesigns were supposed to be every five to eight years.
“Our aim is mainly to make Monetary Policy Decisions more efficacious and as you can see; we have started to see inflation trending downwards and exchange rates relatively stable.
“Secondly, we aim to support the efforts of our security agencies in combating banditry and ransom taking in Nigeria through this programme and we see that the military are making good progress in this important task,” he added.
“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.
“So far and since commencement of this programme, we have collected about N1.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion (N500 billion + N1.9 trillion),” the CBN Governor said.