Scarcity of new Naira notes hits FCT, residents cry out


Some residents of Abuja and environs have lamented the scarcity of the new naira notes. The Central Bank of Nigeria had restored the old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes as legal tender until December 31 in line with the Supreme Court decision in a suit brought before it by three states.

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Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria, who monitored the availability of the new notes, reported that residents were lamenting over the scarcity of the new notes.

Moses Nnegedu, a resident of Nyanya, said if CBN was serious to accomplish its goal on the circulation of the new naira notes before the deadline, it would monitor the commercial banks.

‘’The last time I used the new notes was two weeks ago and it is really not available.

‘’It seems that the new notes are being hoarded.

‘’There should be political will to ensure the circulation of the new notes before the expiration date so we don’t have a repeat of cash crunch,’’ he said.

Gabriel Daniel, a resident of Garki, said he didn’t think the Dec. 31 deadline would be feasible because presently it is only the old notes that are available.

‘’ I can’t remember the last time I saw or used the new notes because even the banks are dispensing old notes both at the ATMs and in the banking hall.

‘’One of the problems we are having in this country is non-implementation of policies and the absence of accountability from those in authority.

‘’At this point, I am just confused, because the moment the announcement was made that both note should be legal tenders, the few new ones disappeared,” he said.

According to Abbah Moses, a resident of Gwagwalada, those who have a lot of money and are able to get the new notes earlier are hoarding it against the December dead line.

“So, even if the banks release the new notes and it is being hoarded by some person, there will not be enough in circulation.

“In the past one week, I have only seen one new N500 note. The situation might be worse than what we experienced early this year,’’ he said.

Manasseh Gimba, a resident in Dutse, said the last time he saw the new note was a month ago.

‘’CBN should print more new notes and ensure they are in circulation.

‘’The old notes in circulation should be limited if the December dead line will be feasible,” he said.

The Supreme Court had earlier extended the validity of the old naira notes till Dec. 31. However, Nigerians believed that the new notes, though in circulation and which were hard to get at the time of release, have gradually vanished from circulation. (NAN)