By Babajide Komolafe
LAGOS-The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said it will commence the issuance of 1.9 billion newÂ polymer currency notes of N5,N10 and N50 denominations .
Its governor, Malam Lamido Sanusi, said this yesterday, adding thatÂ President Umaru Yar’Adua will launch the new notesÂ on September 30.
He said; â€œThe existing denominations of N5, N10, and N50 paper notes remain legal tender and will circulate side by side with the new polymer notesÂ for the next six months. The new N5, N10,Â and N50 polymer notes have retained their current sizes, designs and other key elements. Only the watermark has been replaced with the transparent window and G-switch which turns from green to gold when the note is tilted.â€
The CBN in 2007 commenced a currency restructuring programme. Consequently, the N5, N10, N20 and N50 were redesigned and issued into circulation.
According to Sanusi; â€œTo enhance the durability of bank notes and sustainÂ Central Bankâ€™s clean policy, the N5, N10, and N50 were varnished on both sides while the N20 note was printed on polymer- a plastic materialÂ made from petrochemical products.â€
Explaining rationale for converting theÂ N5, N10,Â and N50 paper notes to polymerÂ notes,Â Sanusi said, the objectives of the currency reforms were substantially achieved with the cost of printing banknotes reduced, while the polymer note foundÂ to last longer in circulation.