It is obvious that the average Nigerian still believes that the symbol of exchange no matter how defaced still serves the purpose of buying and selling.For quite a long time now, Nigerians have been experiencing a situation where the N100 Nigerian currency notes in circulation has been causing a great embarrassing to this country.
The most surprising part of the situation is that there are different kinds of N100 notes in circulation: some are ragged; some are joined together with the help of anything that can hold the disjoining parts together; some are totally torn and defaced etc. whereas, one cannot say that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria-herein after referred to as CBN- are not aware of this situation. Also, the silence of the President and the CBN on this situation especially in correcting the anomaly necessitated the writing of this paper as a whistle blowing so that the President, the CBN would be able to secure national integrity for Nigeria.
Under the CBN Act, 2007, it states the object of the CBN thus ‘The principal objects of the Bank shall be to – (a) ensure monetary and price stability; (b) issue legal tender currency in Nigeria;’. Also, by the Act, the unit of currency in Nigeria shall be the Naira which shall be divided into one hundred kobo. ‘The CBN have the sole right of issuing currency notes and coins throughout Nigeria and neither the Federal Government nor any State Government, Local Government, other person or authority shall issue currency notes, bank notes or coins or any documents or tokens payable to bearer on demand being document or token which are likely to pass as legal tender.
Furthermore, I have considered the provisions of the CBN Act and from the Act, it is clear that the printing and minting of all Nigerian currencies including the N100 notes are within the exclusive powers and functions of the CBN. Also, the CBN has the powers to withdraw all defamed or defaced currencies including the N100 notes from circulation for the purpose of their destruction and to then provide a better currency into circulation.
Furthermore, one of the surprising scenarios is when banks and other government’s financial institutions too issue some of the defaced N100 notes to customers. Worthy of note is the fact that the ATMs no longer dispense N100 notes and this contributes to the few circulation of this notes amongs Nigerians. Also, commercial vehicles too and the passengers as well as all Nigerians are almost taking this situation as a normal situation, whereas, it is an embarrassing situation that ought not to be tolerated. Also, several Nigerians are used to squeezing the N100 notes; folding; writing on in place of a paper, among others, whereas, they do not do the same with the dollars of the United States of America and currencies of other countries. We do all these wrongs to this country by ourselves despite the consequences of the CBN Act , which penalizes any of the wrong doings to our currencies. I have also observed that coins are still part of our currencies but it is surprising that one hardly finds anyone spending these coins.
In all these sad situations, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (being the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation) and the CBN have a lot of roles to play in correcting all these embarrassing situations and that is what this article humbly requests from both of them to withdraw the bad N100 notes from circulation and destroy same with immediate effect. More so, this paper is just at the right time when the new financial year of the CBN shall commence pursuant to section 48 of the CBN Act (supra) which provides thus ‘The Financial Year of the Bank shall begin on 1st January and end on 31st December’.
Finally, Nigeria is a great country. A country blessed with many natural resources, good weather conditions and peoples of diverse ethnics and dialects. So, any Nigerian that is proud of this country would not demand embarrassment for her! It is indeed our father land!
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