Naira Redesign: Impact on Rural Community Dwellers in Nigeria

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The redesign of the Naira note by Nigeria\’s Apex Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), claims to be for the good of the citizens. But recent happenings surrounding the new note issue have, no doubt, brought frustration to many Nigerians.

On October 26, 2022, the CBN announced that it would redesign the three highest legal tenders in the country, 200, 500, and 1000 notes. After the announcement, so many reactions followed, and among all was a claim that the time frame given was short for the implementation.

Some citizens and stakeholders believed it would slow down economic activities in the country. But the Nigerian Government, through its Apex Bank, maintained that it was for the good of the people.

Meanwhile, in December 2022, the World Bank agreed that the redesign of the naira was overdue. Still, it warned the Nigerian Government that the time and short transition period to the redesigned notes would harm economic activities, particularly in the poorest households, primarily rural dwellers.

A few weeks into the implementation, the predictions of the World Bank and other stakeholders have manifested, as the economic activities in the country are near a standstill, rural dwellers wailing and finding it difficult to cope with the change.

Since the new notes were unveiled, Nigerians have had difficulty accessing the naira notes from banks and ATM points. With the hardship the new note issue has brought on Citizens, of which the rural households are the most affected, it is questionable whether the CBN considered the rural communities in Nigeria while carrying out its new policy.

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