The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) today made headlines when it broke its silence on the cashless policy, the redesign of the #200, #500 and #1000 note, and the scarcity of the redesigned notes and currency in the country.
In a recent statement, as reported by Channel news nigeria, the CBN announced that it had ordered banks to reissue and accept the old naira notes until December 2023 after Supreme Court ruling.
The cashless policy was first introduced by the CBN in 2012 as a way to reduce the amount of physical cash circulating in the Nigerian economy. The policy was aimed at promoting electronic payment systems and reducing the cost of cash handling. However, the policy faced significant challenges, including poor infrastructure, low adoption rates, and a lack of trust in electronic payment systems.
In response to these challenges, the CBN in 2022 announced that it would be redesigning the #200, #500, and #1000 notes. The new notes were launched in December, 2022, but there have been reports of their scarcity in circulation. Some have speculated that the scarcity is due to hoarding by individuals and businesses who are unwilling to trust the new notes, while others have attributed it to logistical challenges in distributing the new notes across the country.
In its recent statement, the CBN acknowledged the scarcity of the new notes and announced that it had ordered banks to reissue and accept the old naira notes until December 2023. The CBN emphasized that the old notes would remain legal tender and urged the public to continue using them alongside the new notes.
While the cashless policy was well-intentioned, its implementation has been fraught with difficulties. The redesign of the notes was aimed at addressing some of these challenges, but it appears that more work needs to be done to ensure the smooth circulation of the new notes.
As Nigeria's economy continues to grow and evolve, it will be important for policymakers to consider the challenges facing the country's payment systems and take steps to address them. The CBN's recent statement is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to ensure that Nigeria's payment systems are secure, efficient, and accessible to all.
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