President Buhari unveiled the new notes on Wednesday morning before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja.
Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele of deceiving Nigerians regarding the newly designed naira notes.
SaharaReporters earlier reported that President Buhari unveiled the new notes on Wednesday morning before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja.
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) November 23, 2022
Emefiele was in attendance during the unveiling ceremony.
In October, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced its plan to redesign the major naira notes, noting that the circulation of the new notes would start on December 15, 2022.
The bank announced that redesigning the notes will control the amount of cash in circulation, manage inflation and combat counterfeiting.
“These challenges primarily include significant hoarding of banknotes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 85 percent of currency in circulation are outside the vaults of commercial banks,” Emefiele had said.
Following the unveiling, Sowore on his Facebook page noted that nothing changed in the new designs except the colours.
He said, “@GodwinIEmefiele of the @cenbank and @MBuhari just played Nigerians over the fraudulent so-called redesign of the Naira. Nothing was “redesigned” just a change of dye. Crooks! #WeCantContinueLikeThis.”
Meanwhile, according to the CBN, as of the end of September 2022, its data suggested that N2.73 trillion of the N3.23 trillion currencies in circulation were reportedly held by the general public outside the country's commercial banks' vaults.
“Evidently, currency in circulation has more than doubled since 2015; rising from N1.46 trillion in December 2015 to N3.23 trillion in September 2022. This is a worrisome trend that cannot be allowed to continue,” it had said.
The bank stated that it had made provisions for simple exchange in response to worries about Nigerians in rural areas, particularly given the short deadline for submitting the old notes.
The bank claimed that in order to ensure that vulnerable citizens were not disadvantaged, it was collaborating with pertinent financial system agencies during implementation.