The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on
Monday reiterated its decision to change some naira notes from polymer to paper as hinted by the Deputy Governor of CBN, Mr Tunde Lemo,
on April 2013 in Washington who stated there were plans to withdraw the polymer notes. Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor, Head of Corporate Communications Department of CBN, however, in Lagos said that the change would be gradual and that there was no fixed date for the change, but the apex bank would complete the phase-out before December 2013. “We will print all the paper notes here in Nigeria
as usual, but it is only when we have cash in hand that we will print the naira notes abroad; It depends on the volume the CBN intends to produce. Our hope is to print everything here in
Nigeria“ he said. Okoroafor addedthat the change became necessary because of the challenges associated with the use of polymer notes which included
fading of the polymer notes and the high cost of printing. Okoroafor said that in spite of the CBN’s plan to
print paper notes, the bank would not relent in its effort to ensure that the cashless policy was effective because “we want less of cash in the system and are hence encouraging people to use their payment devices such as Point of Sale (PoS) machines, phone lines and ATM cards“ which is why apex bank was working with
the service providers to reduce challenges that could arise from banks’network connectivity…….. Remembering that the first 20 naira Polymer notes were introduced in Febuary 2007 (a little over 6 years ago), I can’t help but wonder what would happen when in the next 6 years someone else takes us back to polymer notes or even coins.