The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said that the apex bank will crack down on large cash withdrawals in banks as well as cooperate with law enforcement agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) to track those heavy withdrawals.
Emefiele announced this at a press briefing after the unveiling of the new Naira notes by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.
Emefiele said the promotion of the cashless policy initiative was the reason for the reissuance of these notes, noting that the CBN will insist on the implementation of the policy nationwide as the country moves towards a cashless economy.
To complicate large cash withdrawals: Emefiele, at the briefing, said the amount of money that can be withdrawn from the counter will be greatly reduced, adding that most withdrawals will require more procedures and security checks to track usage.
- He said, “No economy is filled with the mindset that it must be a money economy; the world is moving from a common currency to a cashless economy. And I think Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria are ready to move towards a cashless economy. And so after redesigning and issuing this note, we will insist that cashless be nationwide.
- “We will restrict the amount of money that people can withdraw at the counter. If you need to draw large amounts of money, you will fill countless forms; We will take your data, even if it is your BVN or NIN so that our law enforcement agencies like EFCC and ICPC can follow you and make sure that you took that money for good purpose.
Controlling the money supply: The CBN boss noted that among other factors, the revised notes will ensure that the apex bank has adequate control over the amount of money in circulation.
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He also pointed out that the redesign of the naira was not targeted by anyone while announcing that previous attempts to redesign the naira notes had been thwarted.
- He added, “The Central Bank of Nigeria, by law, has the mandate to reissue and redesign currency for the country, and for Nigerians, every five to eight years. And I want to hope that after today’s event, the Central Bank of Nigeria can take it as part of its programs to see that the currencies are designed or reissued every five to eight years.
- “This is mainly because the central bank should fully control the amount of currency in circulation. That is the actual mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria because it has implications for the management of monetary policy in country.
- “There is no need for anyone to think that this program is targeted by anyone. As you heard from the president, he said, this discussion of redesigning and reissuing money started early part of the year.
For the ketchup: Recall on October 26, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, while announcing the planned redesign of high denomination naira notes by December 15, 2022, said the initiative would help security agencies in dealing with prohibited financial flows among other benefits.
- According to the CBN, the current notes will no longer be considered legal tender on January 31, 2023.
- Emefiele said there is significant hoarding of naira notes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 80% of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks.