Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said there were no plans to phase out the lower denomination banknotes, specifically the N100 note.
The N100 banknote has been scarce and the ones available are mutilated, raising concern among Nigerians, who are wondering whether the CBN wants to phase out the naira note.
“There are no plans to phase out the N100 note. The N100 note is in circulation. We have printed new ones. The lower N50, N20, and N10 notes are also in circulation and we have just printed new ones of those ones,” Isaac Okorafor, director, corporate communications department, said in Lagos on the sideline of the CBN special day at the ongoing 2018 Lagos International Trade Fair.
Okorafor disclosed that the new director of currency was recently appointed and that the new notes had the signature of director of currency.
“We keep printing new notes. The only problem we have is that the N100 note is the main currency that people use in spraying and that is why it seems that it is scarce. What happens is that people prefer to use the N100 note to spray, and to abuse it. You cannot abuse the naira, use it to spray and think we will continue to print everyday,” he said.
He was concerned that the banks were not circulating the lower denominations. “We have devised a stop gap, a temporary solution to it. We interact with markets across the country, with big shops and shopping malls across the country to exchange this money, put it in circulation through them as we think of how to really make banks begin to issue these lower denominations. I can confirm that we have met with a lot of success. The market people are now relieved of the scarcity,” he said.
The CBN and the Bankers’ Committee had last month resolved to establish a mobile court to deal on the spot with erring Nigerians who abuse the naira. “We are happy to record our first conviction of somebody who abused the naira in Ibadan yesterday,” he said.
According to Okorafor, the CBN has demonstrated the most passionate commitment to the support of businesses to enable them create the desired economic and social values.
He assured the participants at the trade fair that the CBN would continue to work assiduously to deliver on the bank’s mandate of ensuring monetary and price stability.