Over N1.9 billion has been recovered from Naira hoarders, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed.
The central bank had disclosed out of N3.3 trillion local currency in circulation, N2.7 trillion is hoarded by Nigerians involved in legal and illicit businesses.
However, with the announcement that the old Naira will cease to be a legal currency by January 31, 2023, the banks have been recording an increase in deposits. The deadline has now been extended to February 10.
Within two months, the CBN recorded N1.9 billion since it made the announcement in October, leaving the money in circulation outside the banking system at N900 billion.
Speaking about the impact of the old Naira notes in a statement on Sunday, Emefiele said, “Available data at the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown that in 2015, Currency in Circulation was only N1.4 trillion.
“As at October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking Industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes.
“Ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.
“So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected about N1.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion.”
Emefiele said the apex bank has been meeting with commercial banks and partnered with Super Agents to increase the deposits of old Naira notes.
“We held several meetings with our Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) arid provided them with Guidance· Notes on processes they must adopt in the collection of old notes and distribution of the New Notes to all Nigerians.
“These includes specific directives to DMBs to load new notes into their ATMs nationwide to ensure an equitable/transparent mechanism for the distribution of the new notes to all Nigerians,” he said.
“We commenced a nationwide sensitization through the Print and electronic media to create an awareness on the redesigned notes to Nigerians including collaboration with the National Orientation agency to reach all Nigerians across multiple channels.
“We deployed 30,000 Super Agents nationwide to assist in our Cash Swap initiative in the hinterlands, rural areas, and regions underserved by banks in the Country to ensure that the weak and vulnerable ones amongst us can swap/ exchange their old notes,” Emefiele added.