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Nigerians decry circulation of mutilated naira notes

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Some Nigerians have decried the widespread circulation of mutilated naira notes in the country and called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reverse the trend and ensure better management of the nation’s currencies.

In interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, they noted that several cases of misunderstandings had occurred among citizens while carrying out business transactions with the tattered and dirty notes.

They also decried the use of the polymer banknotes, which are easily defaced, and suggested a return to the paper currency for all denominations.

NAN reports that the CBN on Feb. 28, 2007 announced the introduction of polymer versions of N5, N10, N20 and N50 notes.

However, 11 years after, many Nigerians now reject the polymer notes citing its poor quality and short life span that make it difficult to carry out transactions with them.

Mr Tunde Okeowo, a financial expert, said the CBN should consider bringing back the coins, and that its absence had resulted in the negative impact on transactions, which had a multiplier effect on the economy.

Okeowo identified inflation as part of the negative effects of the absence of coins, especially as people were no longer bothered about collecting balance after paying for products.

“On this recurring issue of scarcity of clean notes, especially N100, I advise the CBN to look into issuing some new naira notes in densely populated states like Lagos in order to make it more acceptable for use.

He also called for continuous enlightenment to educate traders on reasons and ways of preserving the notes.

Mrs Tolu Ajibade, a civil servant, said the prevalence of dirty and mutilated naira notes was appalling, and that the N200 note was gradually becoming unfit like the N100 notes.

She said many Nigerians have resigned themselves to the reality of possessing and transacting business with dirty naira notes.

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