More fresh naira notes are anticipated to be distributed through banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) today (Monday).
Remember that since December 15 of last year, around N500 billion of the new notes have been placed into circulation. However, the apex bank plans to place an additional N1 trillion in circulation.
Speaking to The Nation on Sunday, a CBN 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.”
“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 problem for it with attendant inflationary pressures,” the source said.
Speaking further, the CBN board member noted that the bank will obey the Supreme Court’s decision to pull the brake on enforcing a deadline for depositing old Naira notes until February 15, when the court is expected to make a decision.
He said: “We cannot really speculate on extension or no extension as the issue is before the highest court in the land.”
On the Council of State directive to the CBN, 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 said the CBN has discovered that some influential individuals used their cronies to open new bank accounts to withdraw new notes.
He said: “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 deliberately kept the new notes for their priority customers.
He said: “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 to the CBN as expected.