By Nwobodo Chidiebere
According to Wikipedia, currency refers to money in the form when in actual use or circulation, as a medium of exchange, especially circulating paper money. This use is synonymous with banknotes, or sometimes, with banknotes plus coins, meaning the physical tokens used for money by government. A definition of intermediate generality is that a currency is a system of money (monetary units) in common use, especially in a nation.
Let's briefly revisit the history of Nigerian currency: The West African Currency Board was responsible for issuing currency notes in
For more than one year now, Nigerians have been living with the burden of scarcity of lower denominations of naira notes, especially N100 and N200 notes, which has adversely effected economic transactions in lower denominations. Mostly effected are transporters and passengers, traders and costumers, hawkers, shopping malls, churches and worshipers, etc, who need these naira notes for day-to-day transactions of their businesses not only to eke a living, but to make the economy viable.
The thought-provoking questions racing through the minds of Nigerians are: where are N100 and N200 Notes? Is CBN no longer issuing enough lower denominations of Naira notes via the Commercial banks? Who is responsible for the hoarding and selling of new naira notes, especially N100 and N200 notes to street hawkers? Why is it that deposits money banks are no longer paying their customers with new lower denominations of naira notes like N100 and N200? Who will explain to Nigerians why new naira notes are common in large quantities in the hands of street hawkers but very scarce in the deposits money banks? Is this a conspiracy by the Commercial banks—that instead of paying their customers with new lower denominations of naira notes prefer to hoard and sell it to hawkers, which invariably create artificial scarcity of these notes, thereby constituting an act of economic sabotage? Why is it that new N100 and N200 notes are always available during weddings, naming ceremonies, birthday parties, etc but always scarce in the banks? Why is it that only old and weak N100 and N200 notes are the ones in circulation? Only well-thought-out and mind-illuminating answers would be able to assuage the ill-feelings of Nigerians concerning this ugly development which has been strangulating small scale economic transactions in the country.
With my understanding of monetary system, Nigerian currency, Naira is issued to deposit money banks through the branches of the CBN, and old notes retrieved through the same channel. Currencies deposited in the CBN by the banks are processed and sorted to fit and unfit notes in line with the clean note policy. The clean notes are re-issued while the dirty notes are destroyed.
Naira notes and coins are printed /minted by the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting (NSPM), and other overseas printing/minting companies and issued by the Central Bank of
As part of the quest to curb the scarcity of lower denominations of naira notes, the Central Bank of
As one of its efforts in reforming the nation's payment system, the Central Bank of
nChidiebere writes from
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