Nigeria reissues outdated banknote as money fiasco threatens to disrupt election | Mahaz News Business

Abuja, Nigeria
Mahaz News

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday directed Nigeria’s central financial institution to reissue outdated 200-naira ($0.43) banknotes withdrawn simply days in the past as considerations develop that the botched introduction of recent cash may disrupt common elections later this month.

Violent protests have erupted in current weeks as hundreds of thousands of individuals struggled to get their arms on new, redesigned variations of the 200-, 500-, and 1,000-naira notes that had been canceled on February 10, regardless of a Supreme Court ruling two days beforehand that the deliberate foreign money swap must be suspended.

Now, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reportedly warned that the lack of banks to distribute sufficient of the brand new money may make it tough to pay non permanent employees and safety guards wanted to function 1000’s of polling stations for presidential and parliamentary elections on Feb. 25. Mahaz News has contacted the INEC for remark.

Buhari unveiled the redesigned foreign money in November final yr with the purpose of reining in counterfeiting and the hoarding of enormous sums of cash exterior the banking system.

But in scenes harking back to the chaos unleashed in India when it tried to swap its two largest banknotes in 2016, many Nigerians have been spending hours in lengthy traces at cashpoints in a determined bid to get sufficient money to fulfill their every day bills.

That scarcity has led to frayed tempers and hardship, significantly those that work within the cash-based casual economic system and for residents who stay in rural areas. Protests are spreading throughout the nation and financial institution branches have been broken.

In a televised broadcast Thursday, Buhari expressed sympathy for Nigerians experiencing hardship and introduced that the outdated 200- naira notice will return to circulation for 60 days. The larger denomination notes stay canceled however might be exchanged on the central financial institution and different designated factors, he stated.

He additionally assured Nigerians that the provision of money would enhance within the coming days. Buhari stated he has directed the central financial institution to “ensure that new notes become more available and accessible to our citizens through the banks.”

Last month, the central financial institution stated that of three.23 trillion Nigerian naira ($6.9 billion) in circulation as of October final yr, “only 500 billion naira was within the banking industry” whereas a whopping 2.7 trillion naira ($5.8 billion) was “held permanently in people’s homes.

In his tackle Thursday, Buhari disclosed that round 80% of these funds has been returned to the banks for the reason that unveiling of the brand new banknotes in November.

“I have been reliably informed that since the commencement of this program, about 2.1 trillion naira ($4.5 billion) out of the banknotes previously held outside the banking system, had been successfully retrieved,” he stated.

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