President Muhammadu Buhari, has addressed the nation in a live broadcast on Thursday, February 16th, 2023, following the recent challenges faced, especially as it concerns the new monetary policy.
While reassuring Nigerian’s that the new monetary policy is in the country’s best interest, The President stated reasons for the the action, saying;
a.The need to restore the statutory ability of the CBN to keep a firm control over money in circulation. In 2015 when this administration commenced its first term, Currency-in-Circulation was only N1.4trillion.
b.The proportion of currency outside banks grew from 78%in 2015 to 85% in 2022. As of October 2022, therefore, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking System while N2.7 trillion remained permanently outside the system; thereby distorting the financial policy and efficient management of inflation.
c. The huge volume of Bank Notes outside the banking system has proven to be practically unavailable for economic activities and by implication, retard the attainment of potential economic growth.
d. Economic growth projections make it imperative for government to aim at expanding financial inclusion in the country by reducing the number of the unbanked population; and
e. Given the prevailing security situation across the country, which keeps improving, it also becomes compelling for government to deepen its continuing support for security agencies to successfully combat banditry and ransom-taking in Nigeria.
However, He ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to release the old N200 into circulation to be used as a legal tender alongside the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 till 10th April, 2023.
In his words;
“To further ease the supply pressures particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023 to April 10 2023 when the old N200 notes ceases to be legal tender, stating also that “in line with Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007, all existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points“.
He assured Nigerians that his administration will continue to assess the implementation of the new monetary policy, with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are not unnecessarily burdened. Also, he appealed for more understanding till we overcome this difficult transient phase within the shortest possible time and encouraged everyone to come out for the forthcoming general elections, come 25th, February, 2023 as security is assured.
Story: Elizabeth Ereke