CBN Injects Fresh Smaller Naira Notes into Circulation
By Dipo Olowookere
In order to improve circulation of N5, N10, N20, and N50, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced the disbursement of the smaller Naira notes into the market.
The injection kicked off on Tuesday at the Wuse Market in Abuja and the apex bank explained that the move was to improve the ease of doing business in the country and also to make the Naira notes readily available to citizens.
Recently, there has been shortage of the smaller notes at the market. Also, Nigerians have had to deal with mutilated N100 notes, which the central bank blamed on commercial banks operating in the country.
Speaking on Tuesday at the Wuse Market in Abuja, the Acting Director, Currency Operations Department at the CBN, Mrs Priscilia Eleje, said the new Naira notes would be distributed to traders within Wuse and Garki Markets and others through their associations.
She explained that the publicity campaign tagged ‘Disbursement of Lower Denominations of the Naira’ was targeted at the informal sector, especially traders in markets.
Mrs Eleje disclosed that Abuja would be used as the pilot stage of the new campaign and if successful, would be replicated nationwide.
According to her, the money is not free, but exchanged through the various associations in the market for larger denominations.
She further explained that the new strategy would ensure that traders desist from hiking prices of goods simply to avoid looking for “change.”
“The notes we will be disbursing are mints. This money is not meant for you to keep in your house or to go and spray at weddings or sell.
“We have our operatives everywhere and whoever is caught selling these notes would be prosecuted.
“These notes are meant to be used for daily transactions so that when a customer comes to the market, you won’t tell him or her that you don’t have change,” the CBN director said.
Speaking also at the campaign, Deputy Director of Currency Operations Department at the CBN, Mr Vincent Wuranti, urged all users to desist from squeezing the notes, writing on them or using dirty hands to handle them.
He appealed to Nigerians to inculcate the habit of using wallets in order to safeguard the Naira and allow it to have a longer life span.
On his part, Chairman of Wuse Market Association, Mr Rapheal Okoro, thanked the apex bank for the campaign.
He further lamented that insufficient lower denominations of the Naira was one of the greatest problems being faced by his members.
However, he promised to support the central bank achieve its aims and objectives of the new campaign. He appealed to traders to desist from handling the Naira roughly, describing the legal tender as the nation’s symbol of identity that must be treated with respect.