President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday unveiled the new N100 centenary commemorative banknote at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele and ministers were present during the unveiling.
Briefing the president and his cabinet on the new note, the CBN governor said it was designed to commemorate 100 years of nationhood, adding that several countries like Morocco, Russia and Costa Rica had done the same to mark special events in their history.
He further recalled that a commemorative N50 banknote was also introduced to mark the nation’s 50th independence anniversary.
The new centenary note, Emefiele said, has the most advanced security features in the world.
He listed the design platform on which the note was made to include security, durability, attractiveness, cultural heritage and transformation.
Jonathan thanked the CBN for initiating the commemorative note.
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, also commended CBN for introducing the new banknote.
According to her, the Quick Recognition Code (QRC) feature on the back of the note was laudable, explaining that if the code is scanned with smart phones or other mobile devices, it will link users to a website where the nation’s history could be accessed. The QRC is a machine-readable matrix bar code that contains information about the item to which it is attached.
The minister also raised questions on the amount the CBN would use to print the new banknote and whether it would be done locally.
Jonathan said the questions would be answered in a memorandum on the issue to be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Providing more information on the commemorative N100 banknote, Emefiele informed THISDAY that the note would be in circulation from next month and would circulate side-by-side the old N100 banknote.
He added that there would be no deadline within which the CBN would take the old N100 note out of circulation, stating that it would be phased out gradually like all other banknotes that are recalled and destroyed by the CBN due to wear and tear.
“This means that market women and retailers should not reject the old N100 note because it will remain legal tender until it is phased out like other banknotes when they become old or are defaced,” the CBN governor explained.
He said it would be impossible to give a figure on how much CBN is spending on the new N100 banknote because its production was not done exclusively of other banknotes already in circulation, but assured THISDAY that a substantial part of its production was done locally by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc.
“You know the CBN is constantly ordering banknotes to replace the old ones in circulation, so the orders for the new N100 note was done in conjunction with other denominations of our banknotes,” he said.
He added that the CBN was still on course to phase out the N5, N10, N20 and N50 polymer banknotes, which he said would be done sometime next year.
A statement issued by the CBN added that the commemorative banknote has been designed and produced with the most advanced and security technology features with strong resistance to counterfeiting. It is meant to be durable, attractive and reflects our collective heritage and memory as a united nation.
The front side of the new banknote retains the portrait of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and raised embossed line to assist the visually impaired persons in recognising the face value.
The back side incorporates the QRC window which encrypts significant information that highlight Nigeria’s 100 year journey thereby making it one of the best as smart-connected paper banknotes using smartphones as identity and security tool for de-encryption of information.