There seems to be no end in sight to the controversy surrounding the Central Bank?s decision to introduce a N5,000 note, and convert its three lowest currency denominations to coins.
The move, as announced by the country?s apex bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, has continued to generate criticisms on the streets of Lagos.
Many were also quick to condemn the N40 billion earmarked for the restructuring of the currency, the redesigning of old notes and the production of the new notes and coins.
Although the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed fears that the planned restructuring of the naira will lead to inflation, residents remain sceptical about the move?s chances of success.
?A recipe for inflation and corruption?
An entertainer, Kayode Badru, expressed disappointment with the amount of money to be spent on the fiscal restructuring.
Badru added that the move was contradictory to the cashless policy being test-run in some parts of the country.
?This is not the right time for the introduction of the note with the cashless policy; it could lead to problems and stealing of public funds. I think it would also decrease the value of naira,” he said.
“I think it doesn’t make sense when you think about the amount of money that would be used, when that can be used for some basic infrastructures.?
??Some residents have also described the proposed introduction of the N5,000 note and the conversion of some currency notes to coins as a recipe for inflation, particularly due to Nigerians? aversion to spending coins.
They claim that the proposed coins would be phased out within a short time, and subsequently, that would push up the prices of some goods.
In his reaction, Okanlawon Olaoshun, a publisher at the Millennium Times, said the introduction of the new note would ?further encourage corruption which the government is trying to reduce?.
In a survey carried out in the market places, traders also kicked against the restructuring for various reasons, including a foreseeable difficulty in finding change for customers.
A fish-seller, Magret Dike, said the introduction of the N5,000 note would give traders some nightmare, as they might have to constantly scramble for change to give to customers.
“Even with N1,000 it is a problem for some of us to get change, not to talk of N5,000. Sometimes, motorcyclists even fight with their customers because of N500 change, so if the N5,000 is introduced, all these will get worse,” she added.