We had limited time – CBN defends simplicity of the new naira notes 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has responded to the criticism that its much-anticipated redesign of naira notes was nothing more than a cosmetic change in color, without any new security features, by stating that it had only a short amount of time to redesign the 200, 500, and 1000 banknotes.

The bank stated that the new color scheme enhanced security.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, CBN’s Director of Currency Operations Ahmed Umar made this statement during a three-day workshop for the Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) and Business Editors hosted by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

Amina Halidu-Giwa, Head of the Policy Development Division in the Currency Operations Department, represented the bank on behalf of Mr. Umar.

When asked by reporters why the new notes were so “basic,” Mrs. Halidu-Giwa replied, “We want to solve a problem and we have limited time to do it.” Adjusting the hue or proportions constitutes a redesign. The ink itself is a security feature.”

She denied rumors that the bank would issue N5,000 notes. NAN reports that the workshop, which commenced on Monday in Port Harcourt, has as its theme: “Building Depositors Confidence Amidst Emerging Issues and Challenges in the Banking Industry.”

In her talk titled “Redesign of the Naira: Benefits to the Financial System and the Nigerian Economy,” Mrs. Halidu-Giwa stated that the central bank of Nigeria was not restructuring its banknotes.

Due to rumors, she added, “We are not introducing any new note. However, some individuals have spotted one N5000 note that we don’t know about.”

As she put it, the N100 note and other smaller bills would have to be coined by the central bank if they were to undergo a restructuring of their notes.

She also added that the newly printed notes would solely replace the currencies that had been withdrawn, and that the central bank had not included any exchange provisions in the designs.

“What we are printing is going to be very limited because we want other means of settling transactions to be used.

“Because Nigerians and cash, there seems to be a problem. And it will give us enhanced visibility and control of the currency.

“We will also be able to control the number of banknotes outside,” she said.

The redesign, according to the bank, will promote more financial inclusion and other sorts of electronic transactions. She believes it will reduce the need for people to carry around large amounts of cash and promote the use of alternative forms of electronic payment.

When the unbanked are fully integrated into the financial system, appropriate data will be available for effective economic growth planning.

”Naira redesign will also help in reducing cash management expenditures, give visibility and control and will help the bank to know the volume of money in circulation.

”It will also help in fighting counterfeiting and money laundering,” she said.

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