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Frequency Asked Question on Currency Restructuring

What is the purpose of CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria)?

The CBN Act of 2007 charges the Bank with the overall control and administration of the monetary and financial sector policies of the Federal Government.


What is the role of CBN with respect to Banknotes and coins?

The Bank is charged with the responsibility of issuing and managing the legal tender currency in Nigeria.

In addition, global best practice demands that countries restructure their currencies every 5-8 years to be ahead of counterfeiters.


Why did the CBN decide to restructure the coins along with the banknotes?

The coinage of the lower denominations up to N100 was recommended by the currency management key stakeholders at different fora held in Lagos and Abuja prior to the restructuring to gauge their perceptions on the existing series.


Why redesign the currency notes?

The redesign of the notes is aimed at making them more secure; to enhance their durability to last longer in circulation and to streamline their aesthetic and security features.


Who decides on the volume and value of banknotes to be printed and on what basis?

The Central Bank decides the volume and value of banknotes to be printed each year. The quantum of banknotes to be printed, broadly depends on the rate of inflation, GDP growth, replacement of soiled banknotes and reserve stock requirements.


How many banknotes will the new structure have?

There will be six (6) banknotes under the new currency structure, N50, N100, N200, N 500, N 1000& N 5000. These redesigned banknotes will circulate side by side with the existing five (5) banknotes after they have all been released into circulation.


Is the introduction of a higher bill in contradiction with the cashless initiative?

No. The higher bill will complement the initiative by reducing the volume of banknotes to be printed.


When will the new series go into circulation?

The new N50 and N5000 will be launched during the first quarter of 2013. This will be followed by the gradual introduction of the two denominations at a time.


What will happen to the existing Banknotes in circulation?

They will all circulate side by side with the new series.


Should I exchange the existing currency with the new series?

No. The existing currency notes remain legal tender until they are gradually phased out.


Why are we switching from polymer to paper Banknotes?

The Bank had a disposal challenge with the polymer banknotes.


Will the vending, ATM machines be ready to accept the new currency notes?

Yes, all that is required is for the machine operators to configure their machines to accept the new currency series.


What features are captured on the Banknotes to assist the blind and partially sighted people to identify the different denominations?

There are marks of various numbers on each banknote from the N100- N5000 for the visually impaired to detect and distinguish:


    N50 -  no mark


    N100 -   I     bar of mark,

    N200 -   2     bars of mark,

    N500 -   3     bars of mark,

    N1000 - 4     bars of mark

    N5000 - 5     bars of mark


How does the Central Bank of Nigeria fight counterfeiting?

The CBN fights counterfeiting by:

  • Researching, developing, and issuing new bank notes with more advanced security features;


  • Offering free training to people who use cash regularly (like retailers and tellers) so they can identify and report fake bills before they enter the cash supply;


  • Supporting law-enforcement agencies in their efforts to investigate and prosecute this crime; ensuring that notes in circulation are of good quality


What should I do if I have a counterfeit note?

If you realize that you have a counterfeit note, you should keep the note, record details of the note and contact the nearest police station. If possible, you should provide the police with information about the person from whom you received the note.


Why won’t the CBN reimburse a counterfeit note?

The Central Bank of Nigeria, like all other central banks will not reimburse counterfeit notes, as this could encourage the counterfeiting of notes for the purpose of receiving reimbursement. The Bank would find it difficult to differentiate between someone who is trying to defraud the Bank and an innocent recipient.

The Bank’s legal obligation extends only to notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.


Is it allowed to sell new (Mint) notes in Public?

No, it is illegal to sell mint naira notes in the public. The security agencies have been empowered to arrest and prosecute those involved in the illegal act.



What is the purpose of the new coin series?

The new coins series will be introduced into the system to further ensure a balanced currency structure as well as to ease transactions in the country.


How does the CBN plan on circulating these new coins?

The coins will be distributed to the public through the CBN branches and the deposit money banks.


How many denominations of coins will we have?

Six coins - 50K, N1, N2, N5, N10 & N20


What are the distinct features of the new coins?

The new coins will be made in nickel plated steel with different edges and weight as follows:

N5 coin

Diameter = 21.5mm

Weight = 5.38gms

Shape = Round

Edge = Plain

Material = Nickel Plated Steel


N10 coin

Diameter = 26.5mm

Weight = 5.70gms

Shape = Round

Edge = Plain Alternate Milled

Material = Nickel Plated Steel


N20 coin

Diameter = 27.0mm

Weight = 6.5gms

Shape = Round

Edge = Milled

Material = Nickel Plated Steel


Who decides on the quantity of coins to be minted?

The Bank decides on the quantity of coins to be minted.


How will CBN handle acceptability of the coins?

There is no reason why the public should not accept these coins because they are light, portable and convenient to carry. They ensure more accurate transactions and also because they are legal tender. With sustained sensitization, we expect that the public will get used to spending coins.


What can the citizenry do to aid the promotion of the usage of these coins?

Every one of us can assist by insisting on collecting our change especially coins in our daily transactions. The national currency is a symbol of our identity. We should, therefore, handle the currency with dignity and respect.


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