The new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, the largest denominations of the Nigerian currency, were introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

Just before the Federal Executive Council meeting started, the unveiling took place in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The introduction of new notes was a planned move by the government, according to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, who spoke at the occasion. This was done to combat corruption and note counterfeiting.

Emefiele had previously stated in October that N2.73 trillion of the total N3.23 trillion in circulated currency remained outside the nation’s banking system, making it harder for monetary measures to be effective. He also discussed how redesigning the notes would affect security.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) Godwin Emefiele and President Buhari during the unveiling of the New Naira Notes

President Buhari and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, at the introduction of the New Naira Notes

“In view of the prevailing level of security situation in the country, the CBN is convinced that the incidents of terrorism and kidnapping would be minimized as access to the large volume of money outside the banking system used as source of funds for ransom payments will begin to dry up,” he said.

The old notes would remain valid till January 31, 2023. Mr. Emefiele declared that the January deadline won’t be extended during the bank’s monetary policy meeting on Tuesday.