…sources claim that what the CBN is doing is to pay only 10 per cent of the worth of old notes deposited with it by banks
The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) may bow to mounting pressure and contract the printing of the redesigned N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to foreign contractors in the coming days in order to boost the circulation of the currency.
Sources claimed that this had become imperative as sources said the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, which had been responsible for the printing of the naira, appeared to lack the capacity to meet the demand for the new notes.
This is as the National Council of State advised the apex bank to print more naira notes or re-circulate the old notes, which it had mopped up from circulation, in order to ease the pressure on hapless Nigerians, who had been suffering from the scarcity of the new notes.
There were indication that the Mint had succeeded in printing N500bn worth of the new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes and might not have the capacity to do more than that at the moment.
A source said, “It is obvious that what has been printed is not enough. How can you withdraw about N2.1tn from circulation and only print N500bn to replace that?
Is it not obvious that the NSPMC does not have the capacity to print more than N500bn? With the Mint’s current capacity, to print N2tn will take about a year. Even the N500bn printed has been hijacked by politicians, especially governors. You heard one governor saying one of his colleagues was able to withdraw N500m.
“What the CBN is doing is to give us only 10 per cent of the worth of the old notes we deposit with it. For instance, if a bank takes N1bn to the CBN branch office in its area of operation, it will be given N100m new notes to distribute to its branches nationwide and load onto its ATMs.”
The CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, could not be reached for clarification on the development.
An insider source said there was no problem with the supply of the new notes by the NSPMC, adding that it was a deliberate policy to print limited amounts in order to encourage Nigerians to embrace other means of transaction other than cash.
“We don’t have an issue with what the Mint is doing regarding the printing of the new naira notes. There is no problem with the mint’s capacity. The fund it has expended so far on the printing of the new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes is its budget for the fourth quarter of last year.”
The NSPMC has been in charge of the production of local currency notes since they were introduced in 1965. It does this on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)