The long-awaited day is finally here. Today, December 15, 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under Godwin “Meffy” Emefiele’s orders, will publicly release new naira notes for the ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1,000 denominations.

We spoke to some Nigerians about their thoughts on the new banknotes and asked one question, “What’s the first thing you’ll do when you get your hands on the new naira notes?” 

Here’s what they said.


My friend went to the bank yesterday to withdraw a lump sum of about ₦300k. The bank gave him the new naira notes and I was fortunate enough to see them this morning. The notes are average. It’s just as if they went to put filters on them. I prefer the old notes, seriously.

On what I’m going to do with the new notes? Well, it’s just for spending. Everyone needs cash now since Christmas is around the corner.


I run a logistics business so definitely the first thing I’m spending the new notes on is fuel. I’ll also service my bikes and maybe get Christmas items for myself and my family.


I’m not anticipating the release at all. I think I’ve overgrown the thrill of acquiring new naira notes probably because the value of the currency is nothing to be happy about. I’m not looking forward to it. I’m a little curious to see how they look but beyond that, no extra feelings at all.

Still, if I get my hands on the new notes first thing I’ll spend them on? Probably transport fare and then groceries.


I’ll keep them in my purse and laugh out loud. For sentimental reasons, I’ll hold on to the new notes. I’ll probably not spend till the old notes are out of circulation. Besides, there’s no difference between the old and new notes — just shades of colour. How are we sure that when the new notes get dirty and start fading they won’t look like what we currently have?


I’ll take a picture of them and send to my family group chat.


I’ll stare at them so as to recognise them physically and differentiate from counterfeits. But I think I’ll still use the old naira notes until they’re completely phased out. I know there’s a risk that banks won’t accept old notes after some time has passed but I’ll still keep mine.

People can be somehow. You may offer someone the new notes and they’ll say they want the old one. Some don’t even know the old ones have expiration dates. This delays transactions. So I’ll still have both. If I’m going out for example, I could have ₦4k old and ₦4k new — just to be safe. I don’t want to be fully dependent on the new notes because I don’t know if they’ll be generally accepted.


Touch them to have a feel. Did the texture change? Or is it just the colour that was changed? I’ll take a closer look too. I’d most likely keep them until next year, because I’m not sure conductors or drivers will collect them yet. So to be safe, I’ll definitely not spend them until next year when I’m certain that’s what everyone is using.


Naira is useless, so I’ll basically spend them lol. I’m a collector of notes so I’d keep the old ones alongside the other currencies of any country I’ve visited as reference. I’ll also make sure to break them into change so I can see the various redesigns in their different types. First thing I’ll spend on? Either food or a hangout since it’s December.


I’d most likely not spend them until it’s necessary — possibly on transport or food or some other necessity. Oh, and take pictures of them and post on my status, lol.


I’ll take a picture of them and most likely spend them on fuel. I have no issues with the policy to be honest. I just don’t use cash much but for the people who pack my dirt and clean my office, I pay them in cash. They might not be fully informed about this policy so that may be interesting to see. I’ll probably give them the new notes and tell them about the new policy. Cue the weird looks and questions like “Oga, wetin be this?”


I’ll hold them in my hand to get myself familiar with their new features and differentiate them from fakes. I won’t spend them immediately, but keep them for like three days. Because I’m not ready to buy fish by the roadside and have to start explaining that the new denominations are legit.



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.