Views on the Redesigned Naira Notes

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The recent move by the CBN and the federal government to embark on a naira redesigned has without doubt sparked great reactions among the citizens of the country most of which are of course conflicting.

However, the motives for this change are not entirely known, the CBN governor has in few pressers spoken about how this move would help to lift the economy of the country, increase cash returns by forcing hoarders of the currencies to return them to the bank; which will in turn enhance more effectiveness of the monetary policy, lower the surging inflation, and of course, to set the tone of the nation to the realities of a cashless economy moving forward.

Although his points seem to be a bit on point economy wise, what becomes the fate of the common Nigerian who is neither educated, lacks the dexterity to operate a digital device, lives in a remote region with poor or no internet and network services to engage in digital transactions, or engages in petty trades that largely depends on cash at hand?

In that light, the redesigned naira coupled with the short transition time stipulated, will be more or less a bane to the ordinary Nigerian and viewed a deliberate act to cause hardship in the nation at this time.

In view of the foregoing, I feel the naira redesign has been implemented at the wrong time and in the wrong way. A simultaneous flow of the old and new notes while the old notes are retired gradually with time would have been a better approach to curb the adverse effects of this redesign being faced today.

Noises around have speculated that the main motive has been to obstruct possibilities of vote buying and bribery during this election period. But, one can not say for certain if that goal was met. Owing to the fact that stacks of new naira notes have been found within possession of the politicians while the common Nigerian suffers the scarcity of these same notes.

So, I suggest the CBN;

1. Goes back to the table and estimate properly the cash demand within the Nigerian populace and work towards growing their capacity to print more of these new notes into circulation.

2. Increase considerably the transition period to ease the inundated effects of this scarcity of the new naira notes.

3. Aid and invigorate commercial banks to build efficient and effective digital structure that will make swift and easy processing of online transactions(if in truth the country is geared towards adopting a cashless economy).

With all these, I feel we can make the nation a bit bearable to all even as west rive to transition into something better and more fruitful.

Ohimogbo Caroline Ajanigo
Department of Mass Communication,
Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba Kogi State.

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