The amount of Nigeria’s currency in circulation, representing the cash in paper notes or coins issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for transactions, reached N2.60 trillion in June 2023, marking the highest level this year.

Latest data from the CBN reveals that the figure witnessed an 88% surge from N1.39 trillion in January to N2.60 trillion in June 2023.

Throughout the first half of 2023, the currency in circulation experienced fluctuations. In January, it stood at N1.39 trillion, then decreased to N982,097 billion in February. Subsequently, it rose to N1.68 trillion in March and further increased to N2.48 trillion, N2.53 trillion, and N2.60 trillion in April, May, and June, respectively.

In October 2022, the CBN unveiled its plan to redesign three existing banknotes: N200, N500, and N1000 notes. The new notes were scheduled for circulation on December 15, 2022, while the old notes would remain legal tender until January 31, 2023.

The decision to redesign the banknotes was motivated by concerns regarding the management of currency in circulation, especially outside the banking system. Counterfeiting, cash being used for illicit activities, and public hoarding of banknotes were among the challenges faced in currency management.

Initially, the policy received widespread disapproval from Nigerians. However, five months later, the present government reversed the decision, permitting the use of both the old and new notes until the end of 2023.

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