The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele says with the introduction of the redesigned naira notes the bank will now ensure full implementation of the cashless economic system across the country.
Emefiele stated this when he fielded questions from State House Correspondents, soon after President Muhammadu Buhari presented the new banknotes to the public on Wednesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier on Wednesday inaugurated the new naira notes of N200, N500 and N1000, expressing delight that the redesigned currencies were locally produced by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) PLC
The CBN Governor, however, explained that with the redesign of the naira note the apex bank would not allow any individual or organization to withdraw huge cash without interrogation from relevant security or anti-corruption agencies.
”We will insist that a cashless economy be implemented nationwide. We will restrict the volume of cash that people can withdraw over the counter.
”If you need to withdraw a large volume of cash, you will fill uncountable forms. We will take your data, whether it is your BVN, your NIN so that enforcement agencies like EFCC or ICPC can follow you and be sure that you are taking that money for good purpose.
”We have to work as a country, Nigeria is the biggest country both in population and economy in Africa and we have to ensure that we do things the right way that also positions us as a leader in Africa and one of the leading countries in the world. We must do things right and I think it will start from today,” he said.
According to him, many countries, especially the advanced ones have since adopted the cashless system and Nigeria must not be left behind.
“In other countries you will find, say in the US want to withdraw $10,000 from the counter, you will be interrogated, you will fill numerous forms, they will even track the use of that $10,000 cash that you are withdrawing.
”Or you want to withdraw £10,000 from the counter, they will refuse and if you insist then you will fill forms. The problems we have had in the past is that we say this is a cash economy.
”There is no economy that is inbuilt thinking that it has to be cash economy. The world has moved away from predominantly cash to cashless economy. And I think Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria is prepared at this time to move towards a cashless economy.”
Emefiele also dismissed the assertion that the redesigning of the naira notes was targeted at some individuals including politicians.
”There is no need for anybody to think that this programme is targeted at anyone. Like you heard the President speak in the chambers, he said that this discussion to redesign and reissue this currency started earlier in the year.
”We took painstaking efforts in looking at the pros and cons and the reasons when and why it should be done. And the President in his wisdom, decided that yes, it must be done,” he added.
The Central Bank Governor also said nobody can replicate the new naira notes because of the improved security features they now have.
“These currencies, these notes cannot be counterfeited because of the security features in them. Nobody can counterfeit them. What you could only find will be people mapmaking photocopies of these notes.
“If you follow due process to check the authenticity of a currency; take them through the Ultraviolet-UV light, you will find out that these currencies can never be counterfeited.
“But what I am saying in essence in order to ensure that these currencies are not counterfeited, the CBN must now without waiting, ensure that it must redesign and reissue these notes every 5-8 years so that those who think they can take an advantage of the system by counterfeiting, will now that the game is over for them.”