Lower Naira Notes Scare Because of Hoarding—CBN

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By Dipo Olowookere

Nigerians, who have been wondering why lower Naira notes have been short in supply lately, can now know the reason behind this.

Yesterday, at a public sensitisation and enlightenment campaign on its direct intervention on lower denominations in Kurmi Market, Kano, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said there have shortage of the lower currencies as a result of hoarding.

Acting Director of Currency Operations Department at the CBN, Mrs Precillia Eleje, described the alleged hoarders as “unscrupulous people” who she said also approach commercial banks to get new notes to resell to party goers and others.

However, she said the central bank has mapped out strategies to address the menace, part of which she said was the sensitisation programme at the market.

According to her, the apex bank, as part of efforts to address the issue, has decided to approved direct disbursement of N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 denominations to market associations, merchants, shopping malls, stores, toll-gates among others in exchange for higher bills.

“The CBN has observed inadequacy in the circulation of lower denominations bank notes and difficulties encountered by economic agents such as marketers, merchants, shopping malls, super markets among others, despite the huge volume of bank notes injected into circulation on annual basis.

“The disbursement would be made through the commercial banks of the identified markets associations and other identified beneficiaries and the account must be funded before any withdrawal could be made which will be delivered to them at no extra cost”.

“In order to guide against possible abuse or diversion of these bank notes, the bank has developed a monitoring framework to provide the basis for accessing and judicious utilisation of funds disbursed,” she said.

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