It’s two months after the introduction of the new N100 note and traders in Lagos have expressed concern that the feeble nature of the legal tender is slowing down transactions in markets, the Guardian reports.
Checks in Lagos markets suggest that traders are having a hard time trading with the note. Many of the traders complain, among other things, that the feeble nature of the note causes customers to shun it.
A trader in a community market in Somolu, Mrs. Julie, said that her customers reject the note at the point of transaction and others, who accept it, do so grudgingly, noting that it slows down business.
The note is not moving business. My customers complain before they collect it. The other day, I was on the Island and at the point of paying for goods, the trader said she doesn’t accept the money because other customers reject it. They are rejecting the money. I don’t know.People are just not carried along with the change of the note. Nothing was communicated to us, especially those of us in the markets. Maybe governments should have stuck with the designs of the N10, N20 and N50. If I were asked, I would want them to maintain the design, but make it in polymer.Another opinion from a food vendor in the area, who wished to be identified as Victoria, said she doesn’t understand why people would reject money, and that the case with the N100 note was disturbing. According to her,
the old note is okay. Most of my customers don’t accept the new note, because it gets torn easily. No one wants the money to get old in his or her hands, so, they spend it as quickly, as it gets to them. Nobody even had any knowledge of the celebrations they claim they used it for.
For Ezekiel Akpan, a trader in Oshodi, the note is just another means of trade and shouldn’t cause problems. He said he doesn’t understand why people would reject money, be it a good or bad note, as the economic situation doesn’t leave anyone with a choice.
According to him
why will people reject money? Maybe rich people, who have enough, will; but for me, I am struggling to make ends meet, I don’t reject money. Sincerely, it is the first time I am hearing of this. Can these people produce the money they are rejecting?”
The introduction of the note also elicited mixed reactions from the organised private sector. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) described the move as waste of resources, especially, as “printing of new currency is usually a capital-intensive venture, and raises questions as to how the CBN hopes to grapple with the economic implications of redesigning and printing the new bank notes.”