Nigerians have lamented the lack of clean N100 notes calling for the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to wade into the matter and stop the looming epidemic.
Investigation by Chronicle NG revealed that most of the N100 notes in circulation are not only very old but they are torn and mutilated.
In an interview with a trader, Mary Makanjuola who complained that not only were clean N100 notes scarce, even the old ones are difficult to come by.
“To get N100 notes as change for customers can be sometimes demanding nowadays. If you ask those fellow traders to lend you, they will give same story. They don’t have.”
She urged the government to intervene so that traders can have access to clean N100 notes.
Similarly, a bus conductor who identified himself as Wasiu in Lagos told Chronicle NG that doing business has been difficult because of the lack of N100 notes.
“Most of the charges within Lagos is usually between N100 and N200 and this means that you need to use N100 in your transactions,” he said.
Wasiu added that, “Unfortunately commuters in the last two weeks do not have N100 notes and when they are given the dirty ones, they simply reject it.
Wasiu who said he does not know who is in charge of currency in Nigeria urged President Muhammadu Buhari to make available clean N100 notes.
Cynthia Omokore an accountant told Chronicle NG that something must be done about the notes in circulation. She added that the N100 notes in circulation are very dirty and irritating to behold. “I find it difficult to hold our N100 note. They are very dirty.
She added that, “From my observation, the notes are mainly sellotaped or gummed. They should all be withdrawn from circulation.
Speaking to Chronicle NG, Femi Adewole an architect described the N100 note as ‘mutilated’. He noted that the currency was not good for the image of the country. “This is not good for Nigeria. Tourists should not have naira notes that have been mutilated.
“They are really nothing to write home about,” he added.
In Abuja, Bisola Adarabiola told Chronicle NG that Obafemi Awolowo could possibly be turning in his grave. “When I see N100 notes, I wonder what Obafemi Awolowo will be doing in his grave. It is sad that Nigeria will carry on with bad N100 notes for this long. It is a shame, I tell you.”
Further checks by Chronicle NG showed that the dearth of clean N100 notes was not limited to Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
In Ekiti, Babatunde Ayoola told Chronicle NG that the N100 were disgusting. He noted that the trend began in December of 2017 but only became worse around March 2018.
He said not only were the notes scarce, they were also not good behold.
In Ife, Adesina Temitope told Chronicle NG that N100 notes were scarce. “That note is the scarcer than boli (roasted plantain) on a Sunday and the conditions of the ones you see are nothing to write home about,” he said.
He noted that “You don’t even see it with those ladies at parties changing money,” he said referring to money changers at parties which are usually commonplace in Nigeria.
In Ilorin, capital of Kwara state, the situation was no different. “The notes I have been seeing are very bad,” Tunde Makinde told Chronicle NG.
Adding that, “I actually spent some lately and they were a mess. I thought it was due to the plenty farmers handling money here.”
For Moses Oluwatosin the scarcity and subsequent deterioration of N100 notes in circulation is a conspiracy. Oluwatosin who is a financial analyst reckons that there is a silent move to eradicate currency of lower denomination.
“There are people in this nation that are interested in pauperizing the nation. Make a mess of the naira to the status of a Zimbabwean dollar,” he said.
Findings by Chronicle NG revealed that there certain risks are associated with holding dirty currency notes because paper currency notes are a good home for dangerous bacteria that’s why it is called dirty and contaminated money.
Research at the Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility (SAIF), India, examined Indian currency notes and found germs which can cause tuberculosis, Meningitis, tonsillitis, peptic ulcers, throat infections, genital tract infections, etc.