‘It changes nothing.’ Nigerians unimpressed with redesigned banknotes
A new Nigerian banknote that was designed to give a clear statement of how much a person is worth has proved to be a disappointment, a senior minister in central bank has admitted. The new banknotes are not only expensive but are also not any clearer than the old ones. “I thought they would be better for people to examine,” Deputy Governor of the central bank, Godwin Obasi Adeseye, told news reporters of the change. “It will be like watching a movie you can’t understand. It will make no sense at all.” The new $20 banknotes have a new design featuring a photograph of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria that stands out on each note. The previous banknote, designed in 1998 by Nnamdi Azika, showed only a picture of the governor in uniform while the new banknotes are embellished with the Governor’s portrait. It is not just the design that has been reworked: so has the design of the note’s reverse. The previous design featured a portrait of the Governor on the upper left corner of the note. The new design on the reverse of the note features a full frontal view of the Governor as if he is sitting on a throne.
Obasi Adeseye told reporters that the previous design was to give the note more value. “It’s to give value to the note. I thought for every note, we should give value to every note,” he claimed. The Bank of England has also expressed their unhappiness with the design. The Bank of England’s Director for International Treasury Markets, Mark Malloch Brown, criticised the design of the new banknote saying that it was an unneeded departure from the UK’s currency for a number of reasons. He explained that the design was not something that should be introduced on new notes. The Bank of England had previously said that the design was “ineffective and confusing.” The Bank of England has also said that they have not seen evidence that showing people in front of a portrait will increase the