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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced its decision to stop the burning of currency notes withdrawn from circulation.

In a notice posted on the bank’s website, the apex bank said it will soon commence the recycling of mutilated banknotes.

The apex bank disclosed that although it destroys about 100 tonnes of bad naira notes weekly through open-air burning at the 12 disposal centres stationed across the country, it will review this practice because of the negative effects of open-air burning on the environment.

The CBN said mutilated and withdrawn banknotes in Nigeria will be destroyed under strict security and environmentally sustainable manner.

According to the statement, Section 18(d) of the CBN Act 2007 authorised “The Bank to arrange for the destruction of currency notes and coins withdrawn from circulation under the provision of section 20(3) of the said Act or otherwise found by the Bank to be unfit for use.”

The bank said it has, however, reviewed the current method of banknote wastes disposal through open air burning with the aim of adopting more environmentally sustainable method thereby reducing its carbon foot print.


“Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into reusable objects to prevent wastage of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, minimise energy usage, avoid probable air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling),” the bank said.

“It has been identified as the most environmentally sustainable method of banknote waste disposal that could be explore. In this mode, the banknote wastes would be recycled by converting the wastes into useful products. Recycling of banknote wastes would enhance economic activities in the country in addition to environmental sustainability.”

The CBN said it is seeking proposals from accredited recycling companies interested in utilising paper banknote wastes in its recycling process.

“The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit competitive proposals from reputable companies that can recycle CBN paper banknote wastes into useable products that can be beneficial to the nation while adhering to Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Standards,” the apex bank said.

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