Friday, October 28, 2022


Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome 
to this special press briefing of the Bank.

 We have called 
this gathering to inform relevant stakeholders and the 
general public of persisting concerns we are facing with 
the management of our current series of banknotes, and 
currency in circulation, particularly those outside the 
banking system in Nigeria. 

As you all may be aware, currency management is a 
key function of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as enshrined 
in Section 2 (b) of the CBN Act 2007. Indeed, the integrity 
of a local legal tender, the efficiency of its supply, as well 
as its efficacy in the conduct of monetary policy are some 
of the hallmarks of a great Central Bank.

In recent times, however, currency management has 
faced several daunting challenges that have continued to 
grow in scale and sophistication with attendant and 
unintended consequences for the integrity of both the CBN 
and the country. These challenges primarily include:

▪ Significant hoarding of banknotes by members of 
the public, with statistics showing that over 80 
percent of currency in circulation are outside the 
vaults of commercial banks;

▪ Worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes 
with attendant negative perception of the CBN 
and increased risk to financial stability;

▪ Increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting 
evidenced by several security reports.

Indeed, recent development in photographic 
technology and advancements in printing devices have 
made counterfeiting relatively easier. In recent years, the 
CBN has recorded significantly higher rates of counterfeiting especially at the higher denominations of 
N500 and N1,000 banknotes.

Although global best practice is for central banks to 
redesign, produce and circulate new local legal tender 
every 5–8 years, the Naira has not been redesigned in the 
last 20 years.
On the basis of these trends, problems, and facts, 
and in line with Sections 19, Subsections a and b of the 
CBN Act 2007, the Management of the CBN sought and 
obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to 
redesign, produce, and circulate new series of banknotes 
at N100, N200, N500, and N1,000 levels. 

In line with this approval, we have finalized 
arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation 
from December 15, 2022. The new and existing 
currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023 when the existing currencies shall 
seize to be legal tender.

Accordingly, all Deposit Money Banks currently 
holding the existing denominations of the currency may 
begin returning these notes back to the CBN effective 
immediately. The newly designed currency will be 
released to the banks in the order of First-come-First-serve basis.

Customers of banks are enjoined to begin paying into 
their bank accounts the existing currency to enable them 
withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins in 
mid-December 2022. All banks are therefore expected to 
keep open, their currency processing centers from 
Monday to Saturday so as to accommodate all cash that 
will be returned by their customers.

For the purpose of this transition from existing to new 
notes, bank charges for cash deposits are hereby 
suspended with immediate effect.

 Therefore, DMBs are to 
note that no bank customer shall bear any charges for 
cash returned/paid into their accounts. 
Members of the public are to please note that the 
present notes remain legal tender and should not be 
rejected as a means of exchange for purchase of goods 
and services.
We would like to use this opportunity to reassure the 
general public that the CBN would continue to monitor 
both the financial system in particular, and the economy in 
general, and always act in good faith for the achievement 
of the Bank’s objectives and the betterment of the 

I thank you for listening.

Godwin Emefelie

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