THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has gotten the node of President Muhammadu Buhari to unveil the redesigned high-denomination bank notes, in a frenzied twist to achieve the ambitious of unveiling the new N200, N500, N100 notes.
The CBN had announced on October 26 that it will issue the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, effective December 15, 2022, while the new and existing currencies will remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023.
However, addressing reporters at the end of a two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting yesterday, Governor of the Central Bank Godwin Emefiele said against the earlier date for the unveiling, President Buhari will launch the new naira notes today (Wednesday) at the weekly meeting of Federal Executive Council.
Speaking during the last MPC for this year, Emefiele also announced the decision of the committee to raise benchmark interest rate by yet another 100-basis point to 16.5 percent from 15.5% to rein in surging inflation around other parameters.
The committee voted unanimous to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR). Nine members voted to raise the MPR by 100 basis points and two members voted to raise the MPR by 50 basis points.
Emefiele said MPC took the decision to moderately tighten the rates to ensure the gains of the past tightening are not eroded by a listening or holding of the rates.
He said MPC decided to continue to tighten, but at a somewhat lower rate, noting that tightening the stance of policy would narrow the negative real effective interest margin and thus improve market sentiment and further restore investor confidence.
Mr Emefiele also insist that the bank will not shift the January 2023 deadline for the existing notes to be acceptable as legal tender. There had been object in some quarters as some critics say that the six-week window will cause stamped at banks. Others also argue that the timeline would hurt the rural poor who do not have easy access to bank branches.
“The answer remains no, capital No! We will not shift any deadline,” the CBN governor said when asked if the central bank was going to shift the deadline. He said what the bank has done is in tandem with the law. Emefiele said the almost 100 days window for people to return the old currencies is enough for any person in any part of Nigeria to deposit his/her money.
On whether the bank has made adequate provisions to make sure that those who have cash are able to deposit their cash in the banks, Emefiele said: “my answer is yes.”
On 26th of October when he made the announcement of the introduction of new notes, Emefiele said all banks will keep their currency processing centres open from Mondays to Saturdays. He said that CBN has 36 core processing centres all over the country.
The CBN governor claims that as of October 2022, agency banking network in Nigeria has increased to 1.4 million, in almost all the local governments of the country.
nitely cannot see any reason why anybody would say that he needs an extension because he can’t deposit his money in the bank. It will if you’re in a rural area and the rural areas are the agency networks is like saying that we have worked on for currency points are over the country,” he stated.
MPC noted that inflation has continued an uptrend, even though at a decelerating rate, despite its last three consecutive sizeable policy rate hikes.
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