Naira scarcity: Not yet Uhuru as Emefiele says Mint has limited capacity to produce


CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele was said to have told the Council of state that the scarcity of the new naira notes is occasioned by the inability of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (The Mint) which is saddled with the task of printing the money lacks the immediate capacity to meet expectation.

Therefore, Nigerians will have to wait for more time for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to meet the high demand for the new N200,N500 and N1000 notes, according to reports yesterday.

Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, is said to have told the Council of State which deliberated on the cash crunch yesterday that The Mint simply lacks what it takes to meet the high demand for the new notes.

Premium Times quoted a source at the meeting as saying “the Mint has run out of papers to print N500 and 1,000 notes,” based on the briefing from the CBN governor.

The Mint, according to the Premium Times report, has “placed orders with a German firm and De La Rue of the UK (for papers)” to print more new notes.

The NSPMPlc is understood to been “placed on a long waiting list (by the suppliers) so their orders cannot be met now.”

The source further said The Mint had received CBN’s request to print N126 billion of the new notes which should have been pumped into circulation by yesterday but the request could not be met.

The current cash crunch in the country was sparked by the introduction of the new N200,N500 and N1000 notes.

The bank had initially fixed January 31, 2023 as deadline for the old notes to be accepted as legal tender but extended it by 10 days following the inability of most Nigerians to swap the old notes.

Further relief came on Wednesday after the Supreme Court granted an interim injunction sought by the Zamfara, Kaduna and Kogi State governments to restrain the Federal Government and the CBN from enforcing the February 10 extension.

Emerging from a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and APC governors last week,Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai had told reporters that the CBN mopped up over N2 trillion of the old notes and pushed out only N300 billion of the new notes.

El-Rufai with whom was his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, said even if the CBN had wanted to implement the cashless policy, it should have printed a half of what it mopped up, for a start.


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