According to information obtained by The Nation yesterday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may put more brand-new naira notes into circulation today through banks.
Since December 15 of last year, around 500 billion of the new notes have been put into circulation.
Nearly N1 trillion will enter circulation as part of the apex plan to pump more money today, a CBN board member confirmed to The Nation yesterday.
The board member who pleaded for anonymity said: “The CBN will do the needful to ensure that innocent Nigerians’ pains are eliminated. To this end, more new naira notes will be allocated to the banks from Monday for disbursing to the public.”
He assured that:-
“the mint has adequate capacity to print the required volume of new naira notes”.
Our source explained that “the volume printed must be related to what the CBN adjudges to be optimal for the economy.
“What this means is that the CBN is being careful not to flood the system with naira notes thus creating another currency control problems for it with attendant inflationary pressures”.
The CBN board member also confirmed that the apex bank will abide by the Supreme Court’s decision to pull the brake on enforcing a deadline on the deposit of old Naira notes until February 15 when the Supreme Court will make hear the suit instituted by three governors.
“We cannot really speculate on extension or no extension as the issue is before the highest court in the land,” the apex bank’s board member said.
Regarding the advice of the Council of State to the CBN to either make more new notes available or re-circulate the old banknotes alongside the existing new notes, he told The Nation that “the advice of the Council of States is well-meaning. The Council is rightly concerned about the current challenges of the naira redesign implementation caused by selfish and sadistic individuals/organisations.”
Another senior CBN management official also revealed some developments to The Nation relating to the ongoing currency crisis.
The official disclosed:-
“The CBN has discovered that some powerful individuals used their cronies to open new bank accounts in order to withdraw new notes.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will soon go after them to see if they followed the Know Your Customer (KYC) protocol.”
He added that most commercial banks where deliberately keeping the new notes for their priority customers.
“The banks are loyal to their priority customers; that’s why they reserve some new notes for them. They do not want to lose their high net worth customers. The apex bank has increased the volume of cash it released to the banks.”
According to him, the commercial banks have “not been returning old notes back to the CBN as expected”.
The CBN, the official noted, has also discovered that citizens were holding on to the new notes.
“People, are not depositing new notes but holding on to them” he said.