Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Are Nigerians rejecting the new N100 note?

Nigerians, especially traders have expressed their discontent with the new N100 note, which they say is slowing down transactions in markets.
Prior to the actual launch of the note, the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria received quite a number of backlashes on the announcement of its proposed introduction. Nigerians saw the introduction then as a ‘waste of resources’. The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria also
expressed their concerns over the introduction of the new note, stating that the timing was wrong.

As it presently appears, wrong timing and a waste of resource is no longer the worry of Nigerians. Nairametrics reports that recent checks in Lagos markets shows traders are having a hard time doing business with the note, owing majorly to its feeble nature.

Mrs Julie, a trader in Somolu Market of Lagos State, said that her customers often reject the note at the point of transaction and others, who accept it, do so grudgingly. “The note is not moving business. My customers complain before they collect it. The other day, I was on the Island and at the point of paying for goods, the trader said she doesn’t accept the money because other customers reject it. They are rejecting the money …. People are just not carried along with the change of the note. Nothing was communicated to us, especially those of us in the markets. Maybe governments should have stuck with the designs of the N10, N20 and N50. If I were asked, I would want them to maintain the design, but make it in polymer.”


A food vendor, who identified herself as Victoria, said most of her customers reject the notes, with reasons that it gets torn easily. “No one wants the money to get old in his or her hands, so, they spend it as quickly, as it gets to them. She added that people had no knowledge of the centenary celebration the note is claimed to signify.

Some Nigerians are however of a different opinion. For Dare Adetayo, an office assistant in Ikeja, “the note is better than the former one,” he said. “I like how it looks, I like the colour.” A company driver who identifies his name as Mr Seun simply says “It’s nice,” when asked of his opinion on the new note.

Ezekiel Akpan, a trader in Oshodi, is indifferent. For him, the note is just a tool for trade, and shouldn’t be an issue of national debate. “Why will people reject money? Maybe rich people, who have enough, will; but for me, I am struggling to make ends meet, I don’t reject money. Sincerely, it is the first time I am hearing of this. Can these people produce the money they are rejecting?”

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