Tuesday, 23 April 2013

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO RE INTRODUCE PAPER NOTES AND DISCARD POLYMER NOTES

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Tunde Lemo, has revealed that denominations of Naira notes printed in polymer will now be printed in paper, as polymer notes fade quickly.
The denominations to be reversed to paper notes are N5, N10, N20 and N50. Other denominations, including N100, N200, N500 and N1000 are already in paper notes.

A comprehensive review of the country’s currency carried out in 2005 resulted in the introduction of the N20 polymer banknote. This was followed by the withdrawal of the N50, N10 and N5 paper notes in 2007, which were also converted to polymer banknotes in 2009. The notes are slightly smaller and redesigned from the preceding paper note form.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Washington at the ongoing Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Lemo said: “By the middle of the year, we will start to produce the second generation of lower denomination notes, now in paper and not in polymer.”
He also appealed to Nigerians to “exercise patience.”
“It wasn’t the fault of CBN, it was just because we had to go back to the drawing board to rethink the ‘Project Cure’ in the light of the wish of the public that we should not go ahead with the N5,000 notes and lower denominations,” he said.
“Polymer certainly will be phased out. In fact, we are phasing out polymer. No new note is being printed in polymer now.”
Lemo explained that when the CBN planned to introduce the polymer Naira notes, its search showed that they (polymer) could last longer than ordinary paper notes.
“However, with the benefit of hindsight… the substrate lasts longer, but the in-consubstrate began to fade; we didn’t realise that at the time of introduction.”
“So, part of ‘Project Cure’ was actually to move away from polymer substrate to paper; unfortunately, we had a push-back because of the issues around N5,000 note and coins,” Lemo said.
“The entire programme was put in abeyance; otherwise by now, we should have stopped producing polymer.’’
Lemo stated that the CBN had awarded a contract for the printing of the higher denomination notes to a foreign company because of low capacity at the Nigerian Printing and Minting Company.
The bank would begin to receive the fresh notes from June, he said.

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