Naira scarcity: Over N500bn old notes still in circulation, says EFCC

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo
EFCC Chairman, AbudulRasheed Bawa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. AbudulRasheed Bawa, on Wednesday said that over N500 billion of the old N1000 and N500 notes are still out of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

This, he disclosed while speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s “The 2023 Verdict” programme.

On finding out how prepared the EFCC is for the forthcoming 2023 general elections, the chairman of the commission said that “over N500 billion is yet to be returned to the CBN.”

Recall that the CBN said that it had recovered about N2 trillion since the introduction of the policy last October.

Meanwhile, more than N500 billion of the old N1000 and N500 are still in circulation.

Bawa further stated that a large part of the N500 billion of the new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes in circulation were hoarded allegedly for vote-buying in the general elections which commences this Saturday with the presidential and National Assembly polls.

In his words, “We have intel that a lot of people have bought some items that they want to use to buy votes in kind, not in cash. Some of these things are out there.

“Politicians are also Nigerians. We too have a way of doing our own things. We have our own experiences in this as well.”

Nonetheless, he issued a warning, noting that all necessary machinery had been put in place to significantly lessen the impact of vote buying in the election.

According to him, “vote-buying is a serious issue that affects the future of Nigeria and its citizens and must be stopped by all means.”

Speaking about the commission’s preparedness for the election, Bawa expressed optimism that, as a result of the currency redesign policy, the agency will have greater success than in the most recent governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun.

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