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Persistent lower naira denomination scarcity traced to CBN inactivity

The main reason for the persistent scarcity of lower denomination naira notes has been unmarked.

Details from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that for a year now, it has not award contract for the printing of the notes, such as N5, N10, N20 and N50, which are usually done abroad, adding that the recently printed notes in circulation -N200, N500 and N1,000, were produced by the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting plc (NSPM.

The NSPM, popularly called the mint produces currency notes and coins for the CBN and a wide range of security documents for the federal, state and local government establishments, commercial banks and blue chip companies.

Details sited that the NSPM website, however show that the company has the ability to print over 40 million notes weekly, but further findings reveal that the high cost of printing banknotes was the reason the apex bank did not give contracts for their production.

The cost of printing N50 is almost the same as N1,000. Printing small denominations costs more than the value and with the present economic situation; it makes sense to print higher notes which can be done locally by NSPM.

Checks at banks since November last year show that there were hardly smaller currencies notes to give to customers.

Banks usually request for cash from the CBN through our Cash Management Centre, but recently, we have not been able to get mints of N100 and below.

The situation has caused acute scarcity of N50 and N200. N100 notes were much popular because of the ruminants of old notes and the massive printing that followed the change tpo new N100 notes.

CBN has not phased the old N100 note because of the lingering scarcity of lower naira notes.

Experts say lack of lower denominations has a hand in fueling inflation.