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Naira hoarders return N1.9tn to banks to avoid deadline – CBN’s Emefiele



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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said naira hoarders have returned N1.9 trillion worth of naira notes.

The central bank had complained that N2.7 trillion was being held outside the banking system, stating that it compelled it to redesign the Naira in order to retrieve the money outside the banks’ vaults.

CBN said redesigning the Naira won’t allow the financial regulator to overspend on reprinting and further prevent counterfeiting.

However, in a statement on Sunday, Emefiele said due to the deadline and Naira redesign, persons hoarding the local currency have returned them to the banks.

“Available data at the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown that in 2015, Currency in­ Circulation was only N1.4 trillion. As at October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking Industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes.

READ ALSO:House committee rejects 10-day extension for Naira swap, threatens to arrest Emefiele

“Ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.

“So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected about N1.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion,” Emefiele said.

The apex bank boss added, “We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitization team exercise.

“Aside from those holding illicit/stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.”

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