The Central Bank of Nigeria says it destroyed unfit Naira currency notes worth N1.89tn in two years, 2017 and 2018.
This was disclosed in the 2018 annual report of the Currency Operations Department of the apex bank.
Part of the report read, “As at the end of December 2018, a total of 1,810.54 million pieces or 181,054 boxes valued at N915,075.17 million was disposed, compared with 2,575.18 million pieces or 257,501 boxes valued at N977,231.78 million destroyed in 2017.
“The boxes of unfit notes disposed in 2018 decreased by 76,447 boxes, while the value decreased by N62,156.62 million or 6.36 per cent compared with 257,501 boxes valued at N977,231.78 million disposed in 2017.”
The Director, Currency Operations Department, Mrs Priscilla Eleje, said the report showed the activities and initiatives of the department to ensure, among others, withdrawal of unfit banknotes and circulation of clean banknotes in a balanced denominational mix to meet public demand.
To maintain the integrity of the banknotes in circulation, the department, in collaboration with Deposit Money Banks, Bankers Warehouse Plc, and security agencies, continued to intensify its efforts at mitigating the incidences of counterfeiting during the period under review.
A total of 119,663 pieces of counterfeit notes with a nominal value of N98.82m was recorded in 2018.
This indicated a decline of 1.30 per cent in volume terms and an increase of 5.77 per cent in value terms, when compared with 118,126 pieces with a nominal value of N93.43m recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
It added, “The ratio of counterfeit notes to volume of banknotes in circulation was 18 pieces per million, compared to 16 pieces per million banknotes discovered in 2017.
“The N500 and N1,000 denominations remained the most commonly counterfeited banknotes, which accounted for 65.29 per cent and 34.49 per cent respectively of the total counterfeit notes discovered.”
Currency-in-Circulation grew by 0.8 per cent to N2.32tn at the end of December 2018.
The growth in CIC reflected the high dominance of cash in the economy and increase in economic activities.
A breakdown of the CIC indicated that, in terms of volume and value, the proportion of higher denomination banknotes (N100, N200, N500 and N1,000) in total rose from 41.9 to 44.3 per cent and 96.9 to 97.6 per cent, respectively.
The lower denomination currency notes continued to be preponderant in terms of volume, constituting 55.7 per cent of the total.
In value terms, it constituted 2.4 per cent of the total banknotes.
The Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Adebisi Shonubi, said in 2018, the department enhanced the currency management processes through the implementation of several initiatives towards ensuring efficiency in meeting public demand for banknotes.