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Naira was Designed for Security, Not Beauty – Reno Omokri

Following the unveiling of the new naira by President Muhammadu Buhari at the government house, Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions to the new design. With many showing dissatisfactions with the colours of the new naira by the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), a Nigerian socio-political activist, Reno Omokri, tweeted that the new design is for economic and security purposes, not aesthetics.

He said, “The Naira was not redesigned for beauty. It was redesigned for economic and security reasons. And it achieved exactly that. Naira appreciated. Bandits were flummoxed. The dollar is powerful but not beautiful. Emefiele and the CBN board deserve kudos, not hubris!”

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Why CBN redesigned naira notes

Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, on the 26th of October 2022, announced the redesign of three naira notes to replace the current 200, 500, and 1,000 notes. The new notes, which are to take effect from the 15th of December 2022, were unveiled on the 23rd of November 2022 by the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The CBN has ordered banks to be opened on weekends to ensure that the new notes are adequately distributed, and old notes in circulation are retrieved. The CBN governor also said all existing notes would seize to be legal tender by January 31, 2023.

According to CBN, the move is to reduce counterfeit money and force people who have hidden stolen money to take them to the bank. Hence, banks will work with Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to trace accounts were huge amounts of money were deposited.

Also, the change is to control the amount of money in circulation and reduce inflation. Emefiele said, “Statistics show that 85% of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of our commercial banks. This indicates that N2.73 trillion out of the N3.23 trillion money in circulation was outside commercial banks’ vaults across the country as of September 2022.

CBN has also recorded significantly higher counterfeiting rates, especially the high denominations of N500 and N1000 bank notes. So, first of all, we want to mop all the N3.23 trillion back into the CBN so we can retake control of the money supply and see how this will help rein in inflation. No doubt, we believe it has a positive impact on inflation”. 

Regarding the CBN’s initiative to strengthen the naira, Reno Omokri said Emefiele and the CBN board deserve kudos, not hubris.

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