resident Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new series of N1,000, N500 and N200 banknotes proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) today in Abuja at the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
Buhari said during the unveiling ceremony that the redesigned notes will help address illicit financial flows and corruption, thereby improving the nation’s economy and boosting the value of the Naira.
While the CBN is yet to disclose the distinct features of the redesigned banknotes, a major notable difference is the colours.
Basically, the hue and saturation of the new Naira notes differentiate them from the old ones. The new Naira notes appear less bold, while the portraits and dimensions appear to remain the same.
The old N1000, N500 and N200 banknotes which are the highest currency denominations in circulation, have dimensions measuring 151mm x 78mm.
Machine-engraved patterns of various characters provide the tactile quality essential to the security of the banknotes, in addition to the Optical Variable Ink (OVI) triangle on the N1,000 note, and a kinegram and iridescent band.
TNG reports that the portraits on the new Naira notes remained the same as those on the old Naira notes. Alhaji Aliyu Mai Bornu and Dr. Clement Isong remained on the N1,000 note while Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello remained on the N500 and N200 notes, respectively.
A businessman in Lagos Nnamdi Ezejiofor told this medium that for him, there was nothing exciting about the new notes which he said was merely a recolouration, instead of a redesign.
“Nothing to see here, just the new N200 naira looking like old N500, new N500 looking like old N200 and new N1000 looking like a combination of old N1000 and N50 naira,” he said.
On social media, many Nigerians have slammed the apex bank over the unveiled redesigned banknotes which they say lacks creativity, is a complete waste of resources and might be easy to counterfeit.
Adedeji Oludele wrote on Facebook: “Does it increase the value? Or will it wipe off the untold hardship our leaders created with their greed? The re-design makes close to no sense.”
However, the Governor of the CBN Godwin Emefiele said on Wednesday, that the redesigned currency notes can never be counterfeited, adding that the Bank will redesign the notes after every five to eight years to forestall such occurrence.
Emefiele also stressed that there will be heavy restriction on the volume of cash that can be withdrawn over the counter, as the CBN will work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the purpose of all heavy transactions.
The newly redesigned N1000, N500 and N200 banknotes will be formerly launched on 15th December and will circulate side-by-side with the old notes until 31st January, 2023 when the older notes will cease to be legal tender.