Written by Godfrey AKON

CBN spent over N113.5bn on banknotes in 2017, 2018

Over N113.5 billion was spent by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to print naira notes in 2017 and 2018.

A report recently released by the Currency Operations Department of the apex bank indicates that CBN spent N49.52 billion in 2017 and N64.04 billion in 2018 respectively, making a total of N113.56 billion.

The CBN said it approved an indent of 3,351.34 million pieces of banknotes of various denominations in 2018, to meet the currency needs of the economy, which was 25.3 per cent higher than the level in the preceding year.

According to regulator, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting, NSPM, Plc was awarded the contract for the production of the entire indent and delivered 2,653.31 million pieces or 79.2 percent of the total, with an outstanding balance of 698.03 as at the end of December, 2018.

The apex bank further noted that under a domestication arrangement, 22.89 million pieces of Nigeria’s N100 commemorative centenary banknote, awarded in 2014 to Crane Currency Sweden were delivered.

It added that as at December 31st 2018, a cumulative total of 992.50 million pieces or 99.3 percent had been delivered.

It further stated that its management approved the procurement of 2.42 million pieces of N500 denomination Banknotes produced by NSPM in 2012 at a negotiated 50 per cent discount price of N15.499 billion.

“The Department expended the sum of N64, 040.78 million on printing of banknotes in 2018, compared with N49, 524.96 million in the corresponding period of 2017, indicating an increase of N14, 515.82 million,” it said.

On circulation of currency, the apex bank said the total amount of currency-in-circulation, CIC, grew by 0.8 per cent to N2.330 trillion as at the end of December 2018.

It stated that the growth in CIC reflected the high dominance of cash in the economy and increase in economic activities.

According to the CBN, in terms of volume and value, the proportion of higher denomination banknotes, N100, N200, N500 and N1000, in total rose from 41.9 to 44.3 per cent and 96.9 to 97.6 per cent, respectively.

It added that the lower denomination currency notes continued to be preponderant in terms of volume, constituting 55.7 per cent of the total, but in value terms, it constituted 2.4 per cent of the total banknotes.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said the era of crude oil boom at the international market was over.

Emefiele, who stated this while delivering a lecture at the first convocation of the Edo State University, Iyamho, said the price of crude oil can never rise above $100 per barrel any time soon.

“There was no better time to diversify the Nigerian economy than now because the era of crude oil boom was over and the commodity can never rise above $100 a barrel anymore as the case few years ago.”

“We must just diversify our economy now. We must embrace agriculture and grow the manufacturing sector. It’ll create jobs and generate money into our bank accounts. No more oil,” he said.

The apex bank governor said the bank’s unconventional methods, supported by the orthodox approaches have been able to optimally balance the delicate objectives of price stability and real output growth.

He said the bank will continue to device ways of ensuring that an optimal mix of monetary policy is continually deployed to engender the overall wellbeing and prosperity of the Nigerian economy.

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