Nigeria to phase out Polymer Naira banknotes

Nigeria is to revert to printing banknotes on paper instead of polymer, according to an announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The reversal in policy follows a 2006 deal with Australia's Securency International to use the tougher polymer on the lower more-circulated N5, N10, N20 and N50 banknotes, while the higher N100, N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations remained in paper form.
The CBN blames Nigeria's "peculiar hot climate" for the deterioration of the polymer-based banknotes which are used in 23 countries, including Australia, Israel, Malaysia and Indonesia.

A polymer scientist at Lagos State University has warned the CBN that it is making a mistake by switching back to paper notes.

Prof. Gabriel Shonaike said that one of the main reasons for using polymer in the first place was to lessen the risk of counterfeiting, as polymer notes are harder to forge, as well as being “non-porous, non-fibrous, and last four times longer in circulation than paper.” Shonaike blamed the quality of the inks used in the production of the polymer Naira banknotes for the faded appearance of the older notes.

Securency International reportedly supplied Nigeria with 1.9 billion polymer banknotes between 2006 and 2008.

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