The Nigerian Senate, yesterday, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to quickly convert lower denominations of naira notes into coins, saying such will ‘facilitate retail transactions in the country’. Coins are a heavy form of currency, and when they were in Nigeria, consumers often complained of the burden of carrying the heavy metals around for transactions.
But the Senate said it had become very imperative to make the use of coins compulsory because countries such as the United Kingdom, United States of America, USA; Japan, China, European Union, EU; and the United Arab Emirate used coins. Nigeria once used coins for lower denominations of its currency, but dropped it and returning to it will require a lot of financial expenditure, which analysts have argued will be better used to create jobs and bring down the high cost of food at these difficult times.
The Senate further asked the CBN to sanction any commercial bank that refuses to collect coins from customers. It also urged the nation’s monetary authority to redesign the nation’s currency and embark on costly sensitization campaign and other efforts to bring back coins into circulation in the nation’s market.
The Senate’s advice here is not binding on the CBN, and it can chose to disregard it if it feels this is not the right time to embark on such costly expenditure. Analysts believe the Senate should focus on urgent issue bedevilig Nigeria’s economy like the issue of introducing commercial ranching which will boost confidence of Nigeria’s farmers to go back to the farms, reducing food prices. They note that commercial farming, while bringing peace and security back to the rural areas would also empower herdsmen to turn their cattle businesses into huge agro conglomerates, further boosting the nation’s agricultural sector.