In a bid to address the shortage of lower denomination currencies, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN on Tuesday commenced an exercise aimed at flooding the market with N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 notes.
The CBN however, warned against hoarding and cloning of the lower currency notes, stating that anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law.
Speaking in Abuja, the Director, Currency Operations, CBN Priscilla Eleje, said the apex bank was unhappy that lower denomination naira notes were in short supply.
She stated that the bank was mindful of the development and had decided to address the challenge, starting with traders.
She also warned those who were hoarding the lower denomination naira notes for the purpose of profiting from their resale to stop the idea as they risked prosecution when caught.
Eleje said, “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.
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.
“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.”