(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said the central bank’s plan to replace high-value currency notes will help the economy deal with currency counterfeiting, excess cash in circulation and address inflation, which climbed to a 17-year high in September.
The central bank has Buhari’s support to launch the new currency designs and he “is convinced that the nation will gain a lot by doing so,” the president’s office said in an emailed statement.
“People with illicit money buried under the soil will have a challenge with this but workers, businesses with legitimate incomes will face no difficulties at all,” Buhari said, adding that he doesn’t think it’s too quick to replace the notes in a three-month time period.
Nigeria’s central bank announced last week that it plans to redesign the 200-, 500-, and 1000-naira notes in a bid to mop excess cash liquidity from the economy, take control of money supply and curb spiraling inflation. The regulator said as much as 85% of currency in circulation were outside the vaults of the country’s banks, encouraging criminality, currency hoarding and reducing the efficacy of the central bank’s monetary policies.
The Abuja-based bank fixed a Jan. 31 deadline for residents to change the bills, a tight time-frame for citizens of the West African country, where cash dominates transactions. The country is scheduled to hold presidential elections in February.
Read: Nigeria’s Finance Minister Says Not Consulted on Naira Design
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