The Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to reintroduce old naira notes into circulation has been met with criticism from both bank workers and customers. Concerns have been raised about the quality of the notes, with some bank tellers and bulk room workers apprehensive about the spread of diseases through dirty and mutilated notes.
The CBN’s decision to reintroduce old notes has come amidst reports of the gradual disappearance of the new notes. Some bank branches in Lagos and Ogun states have been unable to supply customers with cash due to exhausted supplies, leading to long queues and frustration.
The scarcity of new notes has also led to concerns about the capacity of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc to meet the demand for new notes, resulting in suggestions that the CBN may contract printing to foreign contractors.
In response to the scarcity of new notes, the CBN has encouraged Nigerians to embrace alternative payment channels such as eNaira, USSD codes, and internet banking facilities.
The Central Bank of Nigeria aimed to enhance payment options and promote financial inclusion with the launch of the naira in October 2021. The bank has since been exploring innovative ways to enable Nigeria to fully leverage the benefits of digital payment channels and align with the global trend toward alternative payments.