Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, disclosed on Sunday that one of the factors in the Federal Government’s decision to restructure currency denominations was the N2.7 trillion that was sitting dormant in people’s houses before the Buhari government took office in 2015.
He claimed that whereas there was just N1.4 trillion in circulation in 2015, there was N3.23 trillion in circulation in October 2022, of which only N500 billion was used by the banking sector.
Emefiele said that “N2.7 trillion was held permanently in people’s homes” after meeting with President Buhari in Daura, Katsina state, when they both agreed to extend the old currency swap by ten days.
The Apex Bank Governor provided additional clarifications, stating that typically, when the CBN releases money into circulation, it is intended to be spent and, after some period of time has passed, it is returned to the CBN, keeping the amount of money in circulation firmly within the CBN’s control.
“N2.7 trillion was held permanently in people’s homes,” Emefiele stated after he paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina state, where both parties approved of a ten day extension for old currency swap.
According to him, around N1.9 trillion have been gathered since the start of the currency redesign and other monetary programs, leaving us with approximately N900 billion (N500 billion + N1.9 trillion).
The President has approved extending the deadline for the currency swap from January 31 to February 10 of 2023.
On Sunday, Buhari encouraged the CBN to give more time, discretion, and order so that Nigerians may smoothly switch to the new notes and lower the danger of loss, particularly for the underserved in rural regions.