As the newly redesigned naira notes commence circulation on Thursday, financial experts worried that there may be an artificial scarcity of the new currencies.
President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new naira notes of N200, N500 and N1, 000 less than a month ago which the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele announced would be released by December 15th Thursday 2022.
Checks by DAILY POST on Thursday revealed that bank ATMs in Abuja are yet to dispense the new notes.
Oluchi Omekara, a resident of Abuja, said she went around banks’ ATMs in Maitama and found none dispensing the new notes.
Another Abuja resident, Adamu Ismail, a taxi driver, said, “I have checked for the new naira in most ATMs at Jabi and Wuse, none was dispensing the new notes”.
Speaking to DAILY POST in a chat on Thursday on the development, a financial inclusion/wealth management expert, Mr Idakolo Gbolade, said it is unlikely that CBN will give banks enough of the new currencies.
He urged the apex bank to implement measures to circulate the new naira notes to Nigerians adequately.
He said: “There is bound to be teething problems as the ATMs must be configured to accommodate the new notes. Also, note that it is unlikely that the CBN will give enough [of the] new currencies to the Deposit Money banks and the microfinance banks, so the cash loaded to the ATMs might not be enough to service demands.”
The CBN, he said, might need “to put measures in place to ensure adequate circulation of the new notes to avoid persistent shortages.”
Similarly, Accounting and Financial Development don at Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof Godwin Oyedokun, urged Nigerians not to panic about the availability of the new naira notes.
He reiterated that the likelihood of artificial scarcity is imminent because most Nigerians long to have the new notes.
“No matter how perfect the situation is, there is always room for improvement. When the Central Bank of Nigeria says the new notes will be out today, don’t forget that the supply won’t be in the quantity of the old naira notes, rather, it will be out strategically, and the withdrawal limit may also affect its circulation.
“Everybody longs to have the new naira notes; on that basis, it will create artificial scarcity. There is no way the CBN will not compromise in terms of extending the cashless policy deadline. [On] the issue of the availability of the new notes, Nigerians should not lose their sleep over it, no need for panic,” he stated.
He explained that banks’ ATMs across the country also need to remove the old notes and ensure the availability of new naira notes.
The CBN said Deposit Money Banks had received stock of the new naira notes.