The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the volume of counterfeit currency in circulation dropped from 84,934 pieces in 2019 to 67,265 pieces of fake notes in 2020, representing a 20.80% decrease.

The nominal value of the 84,934 pieces is N64.71 million, while the nominal value of the 67,265 pieces is N56.83 million, representing a 12.18% decrease in value.

This disclosure is contained in the currency operations 2020 Annual Report that was just released by the apex bank and can be seen on its website.

What the CBN is saying

The report pointed out that the higher denomination notes like the N1,000 and N500 constituted the bulk of the counterfeited banknotes, putting them at 69.06% and 30.79% respectively of the total counterfeited notes.

The apex bank said that the global standard for the number of counterfeit per million is 100 adding that the ratio of counterfeit notes to volume of banknotes in circulation was 13 pieces per million, compared to 20 pieces per million banknotes in 2019.

The CBN also noted that it is collaborating with various security agencies to sustain efforts aimed at curbing incidents of counterfeiting and maintaining the integrity of the banknotes that are in circulation across the country.

Despite the limitations in currency operation occasioned by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the CBN among several achievements, commenced the establishment of the Currency Lab for banknote quality assessment, authentication and independent investigations as well as to investigate suspected cases of counterfeit banknotes.


Although there was a drop in the recurring incidence of fake banknotes in circulation, the CBN needs to intensify its efforts to reduce to the barest minimum such cases, as well as further strengthen the various measures designed by the Bank to prevent and mitigate the risk of counterfeiting.

The apex bank also needs to sustain its publicity campaign, collation of data on counterfeits for analyses and monitoring, as well as strengthen its collaboration with security agencies to curb the incidences of counterfeiting.