The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reported on Thursday that the currency in circulation in Nigeria rose by N1.7 trillion to reach N2.7 trillion as of August 31, 2023. The increase was driven by a surge in cash transactions, marking a significant recovery from a dip earlier this year.
The CBN's data reveals that the currency in circulation had dipped by 235.03% to N982.1 billion ($1 = NGN770.260) at the end of February from N3.29 trillion at the end of October 2022. This was primarily due to the naira redesign policy of the CBN, which caused N2.3 trillion to be mopped up from circulation during the period under review.
However, following the conclusion of the naira redesign policy, the country’s currency maintained a steady rise when cash earlier withdrawn from circulation to drive e-payments was returned to the economy.
In parallel to these developments, financial reports released by eight Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) for the first half of 2023 showcased robust financial performances, collectively amassing N3.9 trillion in gross earnings. Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTCO), United Bank for Africa (UBA), and First Bank (NASDAQ:FRBA) were among those reporting substantial growth in gross earnings and profit after tax.
These impressive performances were primarily attributable to the devaluation of the naira following the Central Bank of Nigeria's decision to float the local currency. For instance, Zenith Bank's interest income surged by 72%, reaching N415.4 billion in H1 2023 from N241.7 billion in H1 2022.
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