Will the new tickets be available on time?
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Nigeria and its more than two hundred million people are on their way to the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for February 23, but before that, here is another deadline: January 31, that is, next Tuesday, officially, only the new version 200,500 and 1,000 naira bills will be valid.
In principle, within five days, “old model” Nigerian banknotes become worthless paper. The move, aimed at reducing cash in circulation, is supposed to encourage Nigerians to open bank accounts and use mobile payments. For more traceability, less corruption also to prevent political camps from accumulating campaign funds before the February 23 elections.
” missing new entries »
But the new banknotes have only been injected into the economy since December 2022. For Ikémésit Effiong, research director at consultancy SBM Intelligence in Lagos, “ the new bills are missing. Personally, I’ve only seen them three times. The banks have not been sufficiently supplied. Two months is too little. As a result, it is theoretically possible that on February 1 Nigeria will experience a mini-currency crisis, artificially created by leaders denying the reality on the ground. »
The day before yesterday in Abuja, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed two resolutions asking the Central Bank for six more months to make the transition and leave the old naira in circulation until July 31. Not to mention all the areas where, due to insecurity, residents have difficulty accessing a counter to change their tickets.
Consumers will continue to use the old naira
For now, the Central Bank rejects any draft. But according to Ikemesit Effiong, Nigerians are used to deadlines being pushed back at the last minute. And if not, the reality principle will prevail. Since many merchants will continue to accept old notes to survive, consumers will continue to use them.
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