Nigerian afrobeat superstar, Wizkid has joined hands with celebrities worldwide to observe “BLACKOUT TUESDAY” today as they mourn and protest against George Floyd’s death. The aim of the ‘Blackout Tuesday is to get employees and entertainers to disconnect from work and music business to reconnect […]
Everywhere you go, the N100 currency note unlike others in different denominations is fast becoming a huge embarrassment if not a national disgrace to us as a people, our government and indeed our country. The N100 note is not only dirty but to say the least an eyesaw. It hurts to say that it is not befitting to be called a legal tender or money any longer. It also does not befit any nation.
I must say that the sorry state of the N100 note is an insult on the man whose inscription is on the note. Chief Obafemi Awolowo is one of the founding fathers of our beloved nation. I guess it is on this singular account that his portrait was used on the N100 note. But I really wonder if the Late political sage will be happy wherever he is seeing that note in its present sorry state especially when he considers that his face is on that note. I dare say that the N100 note as it presently looks belittles the nationalistic struggles and contributions of Chief Awolowo. It derogates his standing and reputation.
It appears we no longer want to use it (N100 note). But even at that, does this then imply that we treat it the ways we presently do? From the banks to the hawker on the street, the note is nothing but a piece of pity. From the banks the note is like a dead man willing to be buried by the undertakers on the street.
Photo: CBN Governor/Godwin Emefiele
You hear different stories about the N100 note. Some say, the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is planning to come up with a new currency note to replace the existing N100 note, some say the CBN wants the existing notes to be in circulation until they become “useless” before new ones are printed perhaps by the SMPC, another story says CBN injected the bad N100 currency notes into circulation to help reduce the pains from the bites of economic recession, there is yet another story that says, the TSA Policy of the Muhammadu Buhari administration mopped up the liquids in circulation thus leaving the CBN and commercial banks with no option but to simply push out the “bad and condemned” currency notes mostly of N100 denomination into circulation and another story has it that politicians who are afraid of being probed by the EFCC have smartly withdrawn or transfered their monies out of local banks into foreign accounts leaving the domestic banks at the mercy of the CBN and the TSA policy hence, the crazy N100 notes in circulation.
I am not a banker nor financial or economic expert which makes all these stories and excuses untidy, unfriendly yet unacceptable to me. In fact, the stories or reasons make it more inexplicable to me why our N100 note is not only dirty, torn into shreds but also untenderable.
Photo: CBN Logo/Headquarters
Each day you see Nigerians at bus-stops and in the markets among other public places arguing, quarrelling or fighting over a bad N100 note. Bus conductors are held “hostage” at bus-stops or motor parks by angry passengers or commuters who outrightly reject the N100 notes among the monies given to them as change from their transport fares. These have led to deadly fights as punches are thrown freely. In the market, meat sellers brandish all kinds of knives during fights with customers who refuse to accept bad N100 notes among the change handed to them.
Some of these fights have led to untimely deaths, many have been hospitalised and several others have murder cases hanging on their necks. Yet we pretend that all is well.
FG or CBN or commercial banks should do something about these N100 notes in circulation to stop this embarrassment, fights and deaths. They should come up with a solution. It is not enough to give reasons why we have bad N100 notes in circulation. Something has to be done and fast too.
It hurts more to hear some Nigerians say, “Those who spend dollars, euros and pounds will never care about horrible N100 notes in circulation or about those who spend it. Since they hardly see or touch the naira, how and why will they know or care about an abused, bruised, battered and brutalised naira”.