President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed why he approved the redesign of naira notes locally, saying it would help control currency in circulation, reduce the overall cost of currency management, and also preserve the collective national heritage,
Buhari who unveiled the new naira notes on Wednesday expressed delight that the redesigned currencies were locally produced by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) Plc.
He spoke at the inauguration of the new banknotes which preceded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday in Abuja and explained in detail the basis for his approval to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1,000 banknotes.
He said the new Naira banknotes have been fortified with security features that make them difficult to counterfeit, adding that it would enrich the collective memory of Nigeria’s heritage.
He equally thanked the Managing Director, Executive Directors and staffers of NSPM PLC “for working tirelessly with the apex bank to make the currency redesign a reality, and for printing the new Naira notes within a comparatively short time.”
He also said that international best practice requires central banks and national authorities to issue new or redesigned currency notes every five to eight years.
Buhari noted that it is now almost 20 years since the last major redesign of the country’s local currency was done.
The president said that implied that the Naira was 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 the security of banknotes.
‘”As is known, our local laws, specifically the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007, grant the CBN the power to issue and redesign the Naira.
“In line with this power, the bank’s Governor approached me earlier 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.”
Buhari added that the redesigned notes would also address 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 four 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 that these redesigned currencies are locally produced right here in Nigeria by NSPM Plc,’’ he said.