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New Naira Note: CBN Might Print More Note Abroad – Sources Reveal




Naira Redesign Policy: CBN Appoints New Spokesperson

Indications have emerged that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is likely to contract the printing of the redesigned N1,000, N500, and N200 notes to contractors abroad.

Sources from the apex bank have revealed that this is because the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPMC) which had been responsible for the printing of the naira notes might not have the capacity to meet the demand for the new notes.

Naija News gathered that a top banker confided in The Punch on Friday that information available to him indicated that the Mint company had succeeded in printing N500bn worth of the new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes and might not have the capacity to do more than that at the moment.

According to the source who pleaded anonymity, “It is obvious that what has been printed is not enough. How can you withdraw about N2.1 trillion from circulation and only print N500 billion to replace that?

“Is it not obvious that the NSPMC does not have the capacity to print more than N500bn? With the Mint’s current capacity, printing N2tn will take about a year. Even the N500bn printed has been hijacked by politicians, especially governors. You heard one governor saying one of his colleagues was able to withdraw N500m.

“What the CBN is doing is to give us only 10 per cent of the worth of the old notes we deposit with it. For instance, if a bank takes N1bn to the CBN branch office in its area of operation, it will be given N100m new notes to distribute to its branches nationwide and load onto its ATMs.”

The speculation that the CBN might bulge to the pressure of printing more new notes to boost the circulation of the currency, might result from the decision of the National Council of State on Friday during its meeting.

The Council had advised CBN to either print more new banknotes or re-circulate the old notes, which it had mopped up from circulation to ease the cash crunch currently faced by Nigerians.

However, corroborating the earlier source from the apex bank, another source who happens to be a former staff of the CBN opined that “I think it is a matter of capacity on the part of the Mint. The NSPMC has been solely responsible for the printing of the local currency and its role wasn’t an issue before now because it periodically printed notes, which the CBN released into the system along with those already in circulation. Only mutilated notes were withdrawn by the apex bank and destroyed.

“As it is now, the CBN may have little or no choice but to contract the printing of the new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to foreign contractors in order to make the new notes go round the country quickly and save the nation the embarrassment caused by the current scarcity and its attendant consequences.”

Meanwhile, Naija News understands that another official of the CBN, who also spoke to The Punch on the condition of anonymity, differed from earlier views.

The source explained that there was no challenge to the supply of the new notes by the NSPMC, but it is a deliberate policy to print limited amounts in order to encourage Nigerians to embrace other means of the transaction other than cash.

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He submitted that, “We don’t have an issue with what the Mint is doing regarding the printing of the new naira notes. There is no problem with the mint’s capacity. The fund it has expended so far on the printing of the new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes is its budget for the fourth quarter of last year.”