The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will be boycotting the country’s banking system and directly supply lower denomination currencies to traders in a bid to address their acute shortages.
CBN’s Director of Currency Operation, Mrs Priscilla Eleje, disclosed this plan during a public sensitisation programme in Abuja on Tuesday, February 27. She said the bank was unhappy that lower denomination naira notes were in short supply and had decided to address the challenges dealing directly with the traders. This exercise will see the markets been flooded with N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 notes.
“We spend money to print money every year. But we don’t see the money in the market. So, we called the market unions and banks to a meeting in our office on how to resolve that. We are here to inform you that we have started giving money to you traders via your association and the banks,” she said.
“We will monitor the disbursements and spending. No more sales of lower denomination currencies at Dei Dei (a suburb in Abuja popular for the sale of new naira notes). The Police are on the lookout and will arrest and prosecute offenders. We will give the money to the association via the commercial banks.
“All you need to do is to take your higher denomination currencies to your association and exchange with lower denomination currency equivalents.”
She, however, warned against hoarding or cloning the lower currencies for reselling or profit-making purpose. This, she said, is a punishable offence under the Nigerian law.
“It’s not like the money is free. It’s just an exchange and we want it to be available to you people to do your business with ease. So, please let us know if you can’t access it. We want to ensure you trade seamlessly.”