• Friday, July 12, 2024
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Traders raise concern over scarcity of new naira

Naira shortage puts $220bn informal economy on life support

Traders at the popular Balogun Market in Lagos have raised concerns over the continued scarcity of the new naira notes.

The traders’ complaints come, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Tuesday, assured of the availability of the new naira through money deposit banks.

Balikisa Ajoke Liade, owner of Tishel Fabrics, in Balogun Market, said: “Up till now we have not received the new notes. All the customers are still using the old notes to buy from us. I went to my bank, called my branch manager requesting to withdraw N200,000 for a purpose.

My manager said even if he has to give me the N200,000, I can only get N20,000 new notes, which I asked why. They said the new notes are yet to circulate.”

She said the CBN did not prepare well before introducing the new notes. “We are yet to receive it from our buyers. I do not think the CBN will be able to meet up with the deadline.”

Afeez Adigun, a trader who deals in traveling bags said: “naira redesigns; I personally do not support it because it looks fake. I collect it because it is legally acceptable. I have no option than to accept it. I still prefer the old notes because of the quality. I started receiving it the day it was enrolled.”

Read also: CBN orders banks to load ATMs with new naira

“For me, it is okay, if it is the way Nigeria wants things better. But some people do not have bank accounts to change their money”, said Morofari Usman, a trader at Balogun Market.

Asking question during the sensitisation programme organised by the CBN in Balogun Market, Lagos, Olorio Olabisi Balogun, Iyaloja of Union Homes Success Market, Balogun, said, “out of 10 customers in a day, we do not see a customer that comes with N1,000 new note. On Monday, somebody came to buy a drink from the soft drink seller. The buyer came with a new N500 note, the seller said, “I am not collecting it. I asked what the problem was. She repeated, “I am not collecting it. I do not know this money. What more can the CBN do to make this new naira known to people on the street and to make it available for everybody.”

Responding to all the complaints, Godfrey Bariboloka Koyer, branch controller, CBN, Lagos, assured the traders and marketers of the availability and distribution of the new naira notes through the banks.

“We are here to sensitise the marketers and the traders about the redesigned naira notes. We are giving everyone the assurance that the new naira is available and it is available to everyone. We are distributing it through the banking system; the channel through which money is distributed and as transactions take place you will be having the new one.

“The old ones have been in circulation and the new ones are replacing them. So as people are giving out the old note, they will be receiving the new note. We have pushed a lot of the redesigned note into circulation and it is going round. If you go to your bank, I’m sure you will get it.

“I am assuring you that if you go to the ATMs, you are going to get the new notes. The essence of giving the directive that the new naira notes should be dispensed through the ATM is for it to be available to people during working hours and off-working hours.

“We are printing, supplying and distributing it. The process is on-going and believe me, sooner or later everybody will have it,” he said.