Prior to the redesign of the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pledged to protect Nigerians in unbanked, underserved, and rural communities.
The central bank announced the redesign of the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes on October 26, 2022.
On December 15, 2022, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, made the announcement at a special press conference.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized the central bank to replace the present currency in circulation with new bills.
Approximately three weeks after the announcement, the central bank issued a statement in which it said that it had been cooperating with the necessary authorities and other financial system participants to ensure that vulnerable citizens were not disenfranchised.
Osita Nwanisobi, director of corporate communications for the Central Bank of Nigeria, said in a statement that currency deposits at banks and other financial institutions have increased, resulting in some improvement.
The statement read, “The CBN remains committed to the seamless implementation of the initiative to ensure the achievement of its goals to preserve the integrity of the local legal tender by reducing the significant amount of cash outside the banking system and its use in criminal activities, combat counterfeiting, and promote financial inclusion, among others.”
“While noting the gradual increase in financial access points and alternative banking channels (electronic/internet banking, mobile apps, ATM, Cards/PoS, eNaira, agent banking, etc.) over the years (electronic/internet banking, mobile apps, ATM, Cards/PoS, eNaira, agent banking, etc.), the Bank recognizes that these may not be evenly distributed across all geopolitical zones and in some rural areas.