For months now, Port Harcourt residents have complained of the inaccessibility of the N100 currency note and as a result, small businesses particularly the roadside vendors most times cannot make sales.
In a telephone chat with a customer representative at the Central bank of Nigeria, he denied the curtailment of the N100 Naira note but blamed banks in Port Harcourt for the scarcity.
“There is something known as the Bankers warehouse. It was introduced in Nigeria in the year 2007. It provides cash-in-transit, cash management, and cash processing services to banks and retail outlets.
“If the N100 note is not in circulation in Port Harcourt, then it is the fault of the banks there because it means that obviously they are not going for withdrawals or they are just not going for the withdrawals of N100 denomination. CBN can only come in if the demand for the note is not met.”
On his part, a financial expert and a senior lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Gift Worlu, said the problem of the scarcity of the lower denomination of the Naira note has not only been noticed in Rivers state but other states in the country including the federal capital territory, Abuja.
“It is a worrisome situation because it makes buying and selling difficult for retailers and their customers. Commercial drivers and other providers of essential services who handle lower denominations are also among those most hit.
“This situation negates the financial equation goal of the federal government and it needs to be dealt with urgently because all over the world, people still do businesses with lower denominations in pennies and shillings like in the UK.
“This problem only shows improper management by the CBN in the area of policy formulation and implementation. Years back, the Apex bank brought up the idea of polymer-based to paper-based money for obvious reasons but till now, we are yet to know what has become of that decision.
“Also, the cashless economy policy of the federal government is also a part of the problem because nowadays, most people buy and sell electronically.
“The ball still stands on the table of the CBN saddled with the responsibility of managing the economy to achieve inclusiveness and easy business transactions. The government has what it takes to identify the causes and also come up with creative solutions to the problem at hand” he said.