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Broadcast: Economists hail Buhari on old N200 notes usage

By NAN
16 February 2023   |   12:49 pm
Some financial experts have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the old N200 notes usage and coexist with the same redesigned denominated banknotes for 60 days. The old N200 banknotes will circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes from Feb. 10 to April 10 when the old N200 notes cease…

New naira notes

Some financial experts have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the old N200 notes usage and coexist with the same redesigned denominated banknotes for 60 days.

The old N200 banknotes will circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes from Feb. 10 to April 10 when the old N200 notes cease to be legal tender.

The financial experts gave the commendation in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

According to them, the circulation of the old N200 notes will help to ease the suffering of the poor masses.

Prof. Uche Uwaleke, Professor of Capital Market at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, said that the central bank should ensure increased supply of lower denominations as well as increase cash withdrawal limit to at least N100, 000.

“More Point of Sale (PoS) machines should be procured, especially by petroleum marketers or petrol stations as many of it currently in use are malfunctioning.’’

Prof. Hassan Oaikhenan of the Department of Economics, University of Benin Benin-City, also agreed that it would reduce the difficulties being experienced by Nigerians due to cash swap policy.

“It will ease the suffering of the Nigerian people to the extent that they can at least transact business with the old N200 notes alongside the new denominations.

“Meanwhile, by implication, the president is saying that N500 and N1000 old notes still remain unusable. The question is how does that tie in with the Supreme Court’s position? That all matters should be put on hold until the issue is determined?’’ he asked.

Dr Boniface Chizea, Managing Director of BIC Consulting Services, said the President’s pronouncements were soothing and showed compassion for the masses.

“I think it’s a welcome development; the President is compassionate about the poor people and I think we can manage the N200 notes.

“This will also accommodate one of the central thrust of this exercise,which is to stop people from buying votes.

He urged the apex bank to also accept responsibility and ensure that it detected where there were obstacles and remove them.

He said, “If the obstacle is because the Naira that they have printed and released into the system has been underestimated, then they should print more.’’

Akpan Ekpo, a professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom, said allowing only the old N200 notes to circulate for 60 days would not solve the problem of the poor people.

“The President’s position is not fully reassuring. He should allow the old denominated notes and the new notes to be used side by side. As the banks get the old notes, they keep them, and then later, the central bank can exchange them.

“Allowing just the old N200 is just temporary, though it is something, but it won’t solve the problem of the poor people,” Ekpo said.

Meanwhile, some traders and owners of some retail outlets have expressed mixed reactions to the extension on the use of the old N200 notes.

Some of the traders, who spoke to NAN, expressed joy as the extension and said that the pronouncement would allow their business to come back to how it was before the cash swap policy.

Although, some of them vowed they will not collect any old notes from consumers.

Mrs Layi Omotosho, a bookshop owner, said at least the pronouncement would allow her sell smaller items that would not require her to give any change to her customers.

“This is a big relief for my business because it will now allow me to sell items like exercise books, crayons among others without having to look for change.

Mr Paul Akintoyibo, said that the decision was good, but that he would not receive any old notes from any of his customers.

“After all I suffered in depositing just N7,000 old notes, now someone is telling me to start collecting another old notes. No way, I will never collect the old notes again,” he said.