By Divine Nwaoguji-Nweke
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is to commence the withdrawal of about N7.9 trillion of dirty naira from circulation.
The CBN said the notes are dirty, mutilated, unfit for Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and over-the-counter payments.
A statement by CBN’s Deputy Governor, Operations Folashodun Shonubi and Director, Currency Operations Department Mrs. Pricilla Eleje spoke of plans to withdraw such notes from circulation.
The officials said the bank had the obligation of providing adequate supply of clean banknotes to facilitate seamless payment and settlement of transactions by the public, government and banks.
The CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele is “due in Lagos tomorrow 30th April, to launch “The clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines”.
The CBN described the measure as the first step in its bid to address the sorry state of the notes in circulation and create a new culture for better handling of the currency.
The statement explained: “The CBN cannot achieve these objectives without the collaboration of deposit money banks(DMBs), merchant banks, microfinance banks, government agencies, Cash-in- Transit ( CIT), Cash Processing Companies (CPCs), Market Associations, merchants/retailers, chambers of commerce and industry, security agencies, currency Management equipment manufacturers , bank customers and the general public.”
It explained that over the years, the growth in economic activities and the upsurge in population had necessitated the rise in the volume of banknotes in circulation.
The CBN said: “In view of technological advances, the CBN, like other central banks has introduced various forms of electronic payment systems for effective and efficient settlement of transactions and to reduce the volume of cash usage with its attendant cost implications.