Data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria has revealed that the currency in circulation rose by N418bn from N2.91tn in December 2020, to 3.33tn in December 2021.
The data revealed that the currency in circulation has increased by 19.06% from 2.44tn recorded as at December, 2019.
While giving a report on the currency operations, the CBN stated that the growth in CIC reflected the continued dominance of cash in the economy.
The CBN further reported that the analysis of the CIC shows that a greater proportion was in higher denomination banknotes (N100, N200, N500 and N1000). The higher denomination banknotes together accounted for 63.47% and 98.08% of the total CIC, in terms of volume and value, respectively.
The volume of lower denomination banknotes (N5, N10, N20, N50) accounted for 28.43% of the total CIC and 1.92 % terms of value as at end-December 2020, CBN added.
The apex bank, however, cleared the air on the use of electronic payment stating that it was introduced with a major aim of reducing the number of naira notes used for transactions, but not to eliminate cash usage.
The CBN said it would help to increase convenience, provide more service options, reduce risk of cash-related crimes, and provide cheaper access to (out-of-branch) banking services and access to credit.
Currency in circulation as defined by the CBN is referred to as currency outside the vaults of the central bank, that is, all legal tender currency in the hands of the general public and in the vaults of the Deposit Money Banks.