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[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary

New Naira notes and coins

Written by kevin

ThisDay has an article (it will probably disappear soon) about the launch of the new Naira notes and coins.

On the whole this is a good idea, if the new notes are more robust then they should avoid ending up with the disgusting, shredded small Naira notes currently in circulation. I’m not sure that the central bank will manage to persuade people to stop ‘spraying’ money, throwing it at people at weddings and other festivities.

I’m not so sure about the coins. They’ve reintroduced the ₦1, ₦2 and 50 kobo coins, which in theory still existed but no-one ever used. Maybe the Central Bank of Nigeria could have spent a little while thinking about why nobody used the coins, perhaps because they’re worth too little to be useful?

What can you buy for ₦1? Not much, maybe a single boiled sweet. This is a coin that’s worth 1/250th of a pound or 1/130th of a dollar.

The governor of the CBN is reported in this day as advising:

commercial banks across the country to ensure that coins constitute 20 per cent of their currency transactions.

They seem to have some idea that the existence of Naira coins will immediately increase the value of the currency or decrease the cost of small transactions. In Kaduna the smallest bus fare is ₦10, even though ₦5 notes are in wide circulation, I don’t think the bus conductors will suddenly decide to accept ₦1 instead just because there are shiny new coins.

In fact quite often it’s not even possible to get change, businesses here don’t go to the bank to collect change to give to their customers so using the larger notes (₦1000 and ₦500) is very difficult. Even in large chains like Mr Biggs you’re likely to be told ‘change no dey’.

On a lighter note, I found this site (“Reporting FAKE NEWS Live From Nigeria”) with worryingly plausible spoof Nigeria news stories.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 10:46 and is filed under rant, VSO.

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