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Are these CBN policies the reason for the scarcity of N100 notes?

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The scarcity of N100 notes across the country could be linked to a series of CBN policies.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), a number of people registered their displeasure about how N100 note and other lower denomination have become scarce in the country in recent times, and how this impacting on their businesses.

For instance, Mr Musa Haliru, a commercial bus driver in Gwagwalada, said he found it very challenging to give change to passengers whenever a N1,000 note is tendered for transport fares.

“This issue of smaller denomination is giving us problems at the garage when giving out change to passengers.
“The N100 notes in circulation are very old and dirty and the smaller denominations are hard to get.
“Small denominations like N100, N50 and N20 notes are scarce and not much in circulation these days.
“When passengers bring out N1,000 notes to pay for their transport fare, it becomes a problem finding change.
“If the government can print more of smaller denominations, I think it will reduce the difficulties we are facing at the garage,’’ Haliru said.

Similarly, motorcycle operators in Kuje Area Council described the situation as worrisome as they found it very difficult to give change to their passengers.

The Chairman of Kuje Traders Association, Mr Musa Umar, called on the CBN to print more of N100 notes and other smaller denominations to address the scarcity.

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Why the scarcity?

The current scarcity of N100 and other lower denomination note could be tied to series of CBN policies, one of which is the cashless policy that aims to reduce the amount of physical currency circulating in the economy.

The policy has resulted to the adoption of POS machine and frequent usage of ATMs for transactions as against the tradition means of paying with cash.

This has drastically reduced the need to carry physical currency around in the economy and as such might have informed the decision of the CBN to reduce the amounted of smaller denomination currency minted.

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Aside the cashless policy, there are some other factors that could be tied to the scarcity of N100 note in the economy.

The scarcity may be tied to the economics of Naira notes denominations. What this implies is that the CBN may have deliberately reduced the quantity of N100 notes minted because of the associated cost of minting.

That is, it makes good economic sense for it to print higher denominations because it would curb its spending on minting currency notes. It is cost efficient for the CBN to print more of N500 and N1000 notes than to print lots of N100 notes and other smaller denomination notes.

Printing those notes have a cost. To print them, the CBN has to pay for the paper, the security features, transportation and security while transporting them. And then the CBN is going to eventually make for destruction of these notes.

There is need to consider low-value transactions and retail sector players

Nevertheless, it is important that the CBN to consider the impact of this scarcity on retail sector growth.
According to a groceries seller, Mrs Helen Eze, “the issue of smaller denominations is becoming a problem to traders in the market, especially those of us that sell food items and perishable goods.

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“Sometimes, when customers bring out higher denominations to buy something small, we normally do not sell to them because of change and we are the ones at a loss.

“We are pleading with the banks to make smaller notes available and save our businesses,” she said.

It is important that the CBN factor in the marketplace reality in the formulation of these policies. In reality, it is the items that people need to pay for with naira notes that should determine how much of the currency notes that should be made available in circulation per time.

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#EndSARS: CACOVID earmarks over N250 billion to rebuild police stations and create jobs

CACOVID has budgeted nothing less than N250 billion to rehabilitate damaged police stations across the country and solve the issue of unemployment.

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Over N27 billion received, what has CACOVID been up to?

The Coalition Alliance Against COVID (CACOVID) has budgeted nothing less than N250 billion to rehabilitate damaged police stations across the country and solve the issue of unemployment.

This is in response to the post-EndSARS violence which led to the loss of lives and valuable property last October.

This is according to a recent press release by the CBN, and seen by Nairametrics. The latest action is sequel to series of decisions reached at the stakeholders’ engagement under the CACOVID, which is aimed at developing measures that will support the government’s effort in rebuilding confidence in the nation’s economy.

What you should know

• In a bid to further strengthen the security apparatus in the country, CACOVID has committed to providing over N100 billion to procure equipment and gadgets for the Nigerian Police Force over the next 2 years.

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• It also earmarked the sum of over N150 billion to set up and implement the Youth Development Programme which will be available at selected training centres across the country. The programme is expected to provide vocational and technical education for at least 4 million Nigerian youths over the next 5 years, with beneficiaries getting trained on craftwork, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, and other artisanal related skills for which sufficient demand exist in Nigeria.

(READ MORE: COVID-19 Palliatives: CACOVID donation is 95% complete – PTF)

  • The selected student/beneficiaries will be eligible to access a N25 billion fund domiciled to support the entrepreneurial drive of the beneficiaries
  • For the out-of-school graduates that possess certain Entrepreneurial skills, CACOVID will be working with Bankers Committee to complete the Creative center at National Arts Theater area of Lagos in four select areas namely; ICT and software design/development, Fashion, Music and Movies. This project is expected to cost the Bankers Committee over N40 Billion.

Other key resolutions of the Alliance include;

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  • Banks and financial institutions would be required to extend relief through concessionary loans to affected businesses and firms, so they can rebuild and restock their stores and continue to conduct their business activities
  • CACOVID has committed to fully rehabilitate all 44 damaged and destroyed police stations nationwide in a bid to restore provision of security in affected locations.

Why it matters

The response is a way of complementing the Federal Government’s effort of rebuilding the economy which has been badly affected by the pandemic and violent demonstrations. As a way of forestalling future occurrences, CACOVID highlighted unemployment as a key issue that ought to be addressed, in lieu of that, a Youth Development Fund which is aimed at advancing entrepreneurship in the country, is mooted.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

The AU and Africa CDC have revealed that they have reached out to both China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union announced they have been in talks with China and Russia over the possibility of vaccine partnerships to ensure that Africa is not left behind when vaccines become available.

This was disclosed by John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Chief, at the Bloomberg Invest Africa online conference.

READ: Covid-19: Pfizer to file for emergency authorization for its vaccine, reaches safety milestone

Mr. Nkengasong said that Africa would not limit itself to only one vaccine partner and that Africa was willing to work with as many partners as possible to provide a vaccine for its 1.2 billion people.

“We are not limiting ourselves to any particular partner. As a continent of 1.2 billion people, we are willing to work with any partner who adheres to our strategic plan for vaccine development and access in Africa.

“The continent is taking the access and development of vaccine very, very seriously. We really need to see clinical trials being done on the continent, so they address issues like background infections from other diseases.”
He disclosed that the Africa CDC resumed talks last week with China, to discuss partnerships with Chinese Drug Manufacturers and also clinical trials in Africa. He added that Russia has been approached with a similar plan.

He said that the WHO Covax programme only covers 20% of the population, but Africa will need 60% of its population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

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There are multiple avenues being explored now to make sure Africa has the appropriate doses of vaccines and also that we have that in a timely fashion, not in a delayed manner,” Nkengasong said.

He revealed that the AFREXIM Bank agreed to finance vaccine procurement with $5 billion and is waiting to see how much it will receive from World Bank’s $12 billion vaccine procurement fund for developing nations.

READ: COVID-19: G-20 to extend debt relief to developing nations

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What you should know 

Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Pfizer Inc. disclosed that its experimental vaccine, which is jointly developed with BioNTech, was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on initial data from a large study in the ongoing phase 3 trials.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: AstraZeneca vaccine could be 90% effective against the virus)

Last week, a pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc., stated that its COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.

The G-20 nations also announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that could not afford it. The leaders also unveiled a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria also announced through the Ministry of Health, that it would inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.

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Covid-19: EU considers skipping vaccine patents to boost vaccine access

The EU has disclosed plans to increase its access to Covid-19 vaccines by offering financial incentives to vaccine production companies.

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AstraZeneca suspends COVID-19 vaccine final stage trial over safety concerns, COVID-19: J&J starts vaccine trials on humans after success on monkeys

The European Union (EU) says its planning emergency measures to increase its access to Covid-19 vaccines including sidestepping patent rights and offering financial incentives to vaccine production companies to move production to Europe.

This was revealed in an EU document on Wednesday and reported by Reuters. The Document says the EU may create an emergency coordination mechanism to be issued at short notice when the EU needs a vaccine license, which is different from fully patent waivers, discussed in the WTO last week.

READ: COVID-19: EU to buy up to 300million doses of BioNTech-Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

The EU says the new move will ensure faster procedures during a pandemic, which will enable generic production in the EU without the consent of patent holders.

The Commission sees the need to ensure that effective systems for issuing compulsory licenses are in place, to be used as a means of last resort and a safety net, when all other efforts to make IP (intellectual property) available have failed,” the EU’s document said.

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READ: COVID-19 boosts Fidson Healthcare Plc’s Q2 2020 performance

The EU’s actions may be triggered by its inability to access the antiviral drug, remdesivir, during the pandemic, as the United States ordered most of the stock.

READ: U.S dollar drops, Currency traders fear increasing COVID-19 caseloads

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The EU also disclosed that it will begin a consultation process with pharmaceutical companies next year to address issues in its pharmaceutical value chains. They added that measures could be imposed to encourage manufacturers to move pharmaceutical production to Europe from China and India.

“The Commission calls on member states to ensure that the tools they have are as effective as possible; for instance, by putting in place fast-track procedures for issuing compulsory licenses in emergency situations,” the EU said.

READ: COVID-19: Vaccine Alliance says vaccine might cost a maximum of $40 per dose

They added that it is urgent “to assess whether manufacturing capacity for certain critical medicines may be required in the EU.”

“We need to be able to rely on ourselves, not on others,” the Commission’s Vice President, Margaritis Schinas said. He disclosed that the EU is working on more compliance with drug supply need and increased stock levels by 2022.

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What you should know

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This comes as surprise considering the EU rejected a World Trade Organization (WTO) proposal last week to waive the intellectual property rights needed for the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines. The waiver would have made the vaccine access cheaper for developing nations.

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