New Naira Notes Trafficking And Consumers’ Plight


The selling of new, crisp Naira notes persists in the country, albeit in defiance of the law. The act is regarded an abuse of the Naira, and so is spraying, writing, or stepping on money.

They are punishable offences for which a violator could earn a fine, jail term, or both. The penalties for the violation regardless, peddlers of new Naira notes have remained defiant. To them, the Naira serves no more than being a means of payment, and measure of value. Contrary to this, the Naira serves much more purposes. It is a symbol of unity, and, a national identity. Given its acceptability to all Nigerians, the Naira serves a unifying role.

This is why selling new Naira notes and other forms of currency abuse is an ignorant and unpatriotic act. The paradox, however, is the rather accepted societal trend of Naira spraying at social events. The trend has endured for decades and, now, done more brazenly. Nigerians of different statuses and positions impudently flaunt this illegality. The penalties for offenders are stated under Section 21 (3) and (4), of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) Act (2007). Despite, the selling and spraying of Naira have remained unfading.   The regulatory CBN is helpless in curbing the illegality, without admitting so. The first challenge for the CBN is purging itself of colluding staff and bankers from whom the Naira sellers get their supply. The insider involvement is a critical factor, since the CBN circulates cash, including new notes, through commercial banks.

It is ironic that the same commercial banks hardly give new notes to their customers, especially those of smaller value such as N50, N100, and N200. The easiest place to get such is through the black market, and for outrageous fees.

To exchange N10, 000 old notes for newer N100, N200, or N500 notes, the seller charges a commission of N3, 000. Where there is a demand for large amount of money, the seller resort to the use of Point of Sales, (PoS) device.

In place of rare new banknotes in circulation, is the deluge of dirty, worn, and mutilated ones.

In April 2019, the CBN launched the Clean Note Policy. The policy, the bank said, was “to improve the physical appearance and lifespan of the banknotes in circulation.” Making a clear distinction of a fit and freely acceptable currency banknotes, the CBN, stated, “A currency banknote shall be considered unfit for circulation when it is badly soiled/contaminated and/or with writings; or It presents a limp or rag-like appearance with ‘dog ears’.”

Pitiably, consumers have had to contend with the flood of mutilated banknotes. Pathetic is the fact that such worn currency notes are potential germs carrier, thereby hazardous to public health. Besides, they are also a source between sellers and buyers, who might reject such for payment.