Wednesday, February 22, 2023

54% of currency in Nigeria no longer in circulation

Nigeria currently has about 1.39 trillion of its currency in circulation, after cutting off an estimated 1.6 trillion in just a month.

This 54% drop is part of the Central Bank’s governor's initiative to inflate the value of Nigeria’s currency, the Naira. In January, the money in circulation totaled N3.1 trillion.

Subsequently, the currency outside the vaults of banks has also been cut down by 69.3%, jumping from N2.56 trillion to N788.92 within the same month.

In December, the governor of the Central Bank Godwin Emefiele alongside the president of the country, Muhammad Buhari, revealed the new redesigned legal tenders for the N200, N500, and N1000 notes.

This redesign according to the governor was to recover the lost value of the naira. The governor disclosed that the Naira was depreciating because most of the country’s cash was being hoarded outside banking halls.

This, in his assessment, amongst other factors, devalued the naira. As a result, some of the country’s legal tender were redesigned, and the governor gave a short deadline for the return of the old notes.

The first deadline was a little over a month after unveiling the redesigned notes on the 31st of January, which would eventually be extended to the 7th of February.

After massive bouts of civil unrest across the country and a disagreement with the country’s supreme court, which ruled that the deadline be extended, the CBN governor and the president of Nigeria insisted that the deadline would stand, and the redesigned notes would be the country’s official legal tender.

As result, the CBN has managed to reduce the level of hoarded cash outside of banking halls, by a significant margin. This refusal to budge under pressure has also made Nigerians more receptive to the idea of a cashless economy. Now more than ever, Nigerians have keyed into the idea of transacting business via transfers.

In the same period under review, Nigeria’s money supply rose to N53.27 trillion, a 2.2% increase compared to the previous month.

Chinedu Okafor, Business Insider Africa

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