The Assistant Director, Currency Operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Benedict Madagwu, say the apex bank has launched a move that is aimed at ending the scarcity of lower currency denominations across the country.
While speaking at CBN’s FAIR programme titled: ‘Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development’, Madagwu disclosed that the bank has begun the process of making lower currency denominations available to Nigerians.
According to the Assistant Director, the apex bank had commenced the direct disbursement of N200, N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 denominations in exchange for the higher denominations to traders, merchants, shopping malls, stores, supermarkets, market men, and women.
Madagwu said the disbursement had started in Abuja and had been extended to Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Onitsha, Ibadan, Yola, Gombe, Katisna and Jos.
Recall that in February, 2018, CBN had begun the disbursement of smaller naira notes to traders in order to improve circulation of N5, N10, N20, and N50 in the market.
The acting Director, Currency Operations Department, CBN, Priscilia Eleje made the disclosure at a publicity campaign on “Disbursement of Lower Denominations of the Naira’’ in Wuse Market, Abuja.
The campaign, according to Eleje, was targeted at the informal sector, especially traders in markets with the aim of increasing the circulation of the smaller units of the naira to make doing business easier. The new Naira notes was distributed to traders within Wuse and Garki Markets and others through their associations.
In July, 2018, the apex bank approved the disbursement of lower banknotes denomination to market associations, merchants, shopping malls among other business outlets to address the inadequate in circulation and the difficulties encountered by economic agents.
While making the disclosure of the disbursement, CBN blamed the scarcity of lower naira denominations on hoarding and sale by unscrupulous people.
The CBN was established in 1958 and serves as the official banker to the Nigerian government. As part of its duties, it supervises the operations of financial institution in the country. Its functions also include ensuring monetary and price stability, issue legal tender currency, and maintain external reserves to safeguard the international value of the legal tender currency.