Nigeria issues new banknotes to curb inflation and fight corruption

Nigeria has issued new banknote designs that the central bank says will help curb inflation and fight money laundering.

Nigerian Central Bank Governor Godwin Emifiele said the new 200 naira (5 US cents), 500 ($1.10) and 1,000 naira ($2.20) banknotes will also boost financial inclusion and economic growth.

But experts are skeptical of such results in a country that has been fighting chronic corruption for decades, with officials accused of embezzling public funds, exacerbating the deprivation of many of the poor.

The new initiative is the latest initiative by politicians in Africa’s largest economy in their push for a more inclusive and cashless economy in the 19 years since the Nigerian currency was not changed.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said at the launch ceremony of the new currency that the naira is “long in need of a new look.” He added that the new banknotes, designed in Nigeria and offering enhanced security, “will help the central bank develop and implement more effective monetary policy objectives.”

As the inflation rate rose to its highest level in 17 years at 21.09 percent, fueled by higher food prices, the central governor said the new banknotes would “return the accumulated currency to the banking system” and help the “central center” regain control of the money in the country.

Source: Associated Press

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