The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to phase out the lower denomination of the nation’s currency including N5, N10 and N20.
The CBN added that it was wasting money printing the notes which end up being abused by members of the public, stressing that the denominations have almost become worthless owing to the declining purchasing power of the naira.
However, the apex bank said it has come up with the e-NAIRA initiative that would promote financial inclusion and cashless economy.
Speaking at a sensitisation exercise at the popular Ogbogonogo Market, Asaba, Dr. Aminu Bizi explained that traders in onions, sachet water, pepper among other commodities would be educated on how to use the e-NAIRA account to do transactions.
Bizi who is a consultant with CBN on e-NAIRA stated that the digital platform of transaction is fast, accessible, free and safe with over 99.9% success rate.
The e-NAIRA has come to stay. Why do you need cash if the onion seller, akara seller, chemist man or Keke/Okada operator have e-NAIRA account?
“Do you need to go to POS and cash money while ordinary Keke man can receive N50 via transfer?
“We are planning to meet with the union of Keke to sensitise them and give them a bar code.
“You have your e-NAIRA, before you even get down, you scan the Keke scanner bar code and you pay him his fare of N50 or N100.
“So why should you go and queue to withdraw money? Is it not for you to spend? So if these market people accept e-NAIRA, people don’t need to cash.
“So very soon, you may not be seeing N5, N10 or N20 notes in circulation because CBN is using money to print these notes, and at the end of the day this N5, N10, N20 will be abused.
“Go and see the woman selling corn, fish, they are squeezing these notes, at the end of the day, CBN is losing to reprint more notes to replace the mutilated ones,” he stated.
Bizi assured that the e-NAIRA account cannot be hacked by fraudsters.
“What I mean by that is that no yahoo can penetrate your e-NAIRA to take your money. Even if someone force you to collect your pin number or password, he can be traced because you cannot move e-NAIRA to another bank account.
“I have e-NAIRA, I cannot move funds to your bank account but I can take money from my bank account to my e-NAIRA.
“And I can take back my money in e-wallet to my bank account. So no chance for fraud. It is free, all marketers are free to accept e-naira,” he added.
Secretary to the State Government, Patrick Ukah who was represented by the Director of Finance and Account in the office, Benson Ojoko, lauded the apex bank for the initiative to further reduce the volume of physical cash in circulation.
Branch controller of CBN in Asaba, Mr. Godwin Okafor who was also represented by the Head of Customer Service, Bright Orji said the apex bank was committed to promoting digital transactions to reduce the risk involved in carrying cash.