• Spent N64.040bn on printing banknotes
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Wednesday, said that a total of 1,810.54 million pieces or 181,054 boxes of unfit naira notes valued at N915.075 billion was disposed of as at the end of December 2018.
This is compared with 2,575.18 million pieces or 257,501 boxes valued at N977.231 billion disposed of in 2017.
The Currency Operations Department of the bank also said it expended the sum of N64.040 billion on the printing of banknotes in 2018, compared with ₦49.524 billion in the corresponding period of 2017. This it said, indicates an increase of ₦14.515 billion or 29.31 per cent.
The central bank made this revelation in the Currency Operations 2018 Annual Report, posted on its website.
The CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor had earlier lamented that the bank spends a lot of money printing these banknotes.
“And we print a banknote, release a banknote on a Friday, people go to parties they dance on them.
“They go to churches, they squeeze it and put it in offering and by Monday it is already old and mutilated and we spend hundreds of billions of Naira to print these notes.
“It is so unfortunate.’’
He said that under no circumstance should the Naira be squeezed or reduced to a piece of paper for writing.
Furthermore, a total of N5.630 billion or 7.96 per cent was expended on air charter, compared with N4.022 billion incurred during the corresponding period in 2017, just as the sum of N662.21 million was expended on currency notes disposal.
According to the report, the boxes of unfit notes disposed of in 2018 decreased by 76,447 boxes, while the value decreased by N62.156billion or 6.36 per cent compared with 257,501 boxes valued at N977.231billion disposed in 2017.
The CBN said that a total of 119,663 pieces of counterfeit notes with a nominal value of N98.82 million was recorded in 2018.
The CBN said the figure 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 N93.43 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
The regulator further noted that the ratio of counterfeit notes to the volume of banknotes in circulation was 18 pieces per million, compared to 16 pieces per million banknotes discovered in 2017.
It said the N500 and N1000 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.
Also, the total stock of currency (issuable and non-issuable) in the vaults of the Bank as at the end of December 2018 stood at 1,718.57 million pieces, compared with 1,284.10 million pieces in 2017, indicating an increase of 33.83 per cent.
As at end-December 2018, the total issuable notes (newly printed notes and Counted Audited Clean notes) stood at 496.61 million pieces, compared with 256.61 million pieces in 2017, indicating an increase of 240 million pieces or 94.0 per cent.
The increase was attributed to the volume of new notes supplied by the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) PLC.
The bank said that to preserve the integrity of the banknotes in circulation, it partnered with Bankers Warehouse PLC and security agencies, to intensify efforts at mitigating the incidences of counterfeiting during the period under review.
The apex bank also said that the Currency- in-Circulation (CIC), grew by 0.8 per cent to N2, 329.7 billion as at the end of December 2018.
The report noted that the growth in CIC reflected the high dominance of cash in the economy and an increase in economic activities.
Similarly, a total of 265,553 boxes of banknotes valued at N1,841,937.00 million was evacuated from the NSPM PLC. Lagos and Abuja factories to various Branches in 2018. The currency evacuated increased by 49,700 boxes or 23.03 per cent and N19.228 billion or 3.88 per cent in volume and value terms respectively, compared with 215,853 boxes valued at N495.085 billion in 2017.
The increase according to the report was attributed to the evacuation of more banknotes in 2018, compared with the volume in 2017.
The CBN further stated that a total of USD2,400 million was procured in 2018, out of which USD1,800 million was supplied to Lagos Branch and the balance of USD600,000 million to Abuja Branch for distribution to other Branches.
This was used to fund the operations of Bureaux De Change (BDCs), payment of estacode allowances to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), pilgrimages and Personal Travel Allowances (PTAs).