• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

The naira rebrand farce and unwarranted pain of living or doing business in Nigeria

The Naira rebrand farce and unwarranted  pain of living or doing business in Nigeria

 

In a matter of six weeks, you will have process your Naira notes for new ones promised by the Central Bank of Nigeria as the answer to Nigeria’s woes. In about ten weeks, you will need to present yourself to be counted in a new national census. And in about 12 weeks, if you are of adult age, you will be required to vote for a new president.

But right now you are facing a dollar crunch, buying a bag of rice for N51k and diesel for near N900 a litre. Data from Apapa wharf and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos suggest up to 50 percent drop in the number of containers being presented daily for Customs examination, a clear indication of an acute goods shortage ahead of Christmas. On top of this, you cannot fly to Dubai on Emirates.

And you are probably asking what is the next surprise?

As if Nigerians had not had enough economic jolts, they were further startled by the proposed guidelines for redesigning the Naira.  There will be new N200, N500 & N1000 notes from December 15 this year.

Most Nigerians who are already embattled are asking one question “what will these new notes do to soothe our frayed nerves? And this is understandable.

The CBN estimate puts Naira in circulation at N3.2trn which must be exchanged successfully between December 15, 2022  and January 31, 2023, separated by 33 working days and there are 5,158 commercial bank branches in Nigeria. This means that more than N86bn in cash must be exchanged daily across the country.