A pan-Nigerian group, Association of Progressive Nigerians, APN, has appealed to the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to withdraw old and tattered Naira notes from circulation.
In a media statement issued at the weekend and signed by its President and Secretary, Alhaji Muhammed Bello and Mr Oluwole Aina, respectively, the APN said that now that the country is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the continued recirculation of tattered Naira notes, which have passed through several hands may lead to further spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.
The statement reads, “We hereby appeal to the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to without fuether delay, please withdraw these old and tattered Naira notes from circulation, as the continued recycling of such notes may endanger the public health and lead to the further spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.
“We observe with sadness that what most banks are doing is to push out these dirty naira notes in endless recycling of what should have been withdrawn and replaced with freshly minted notes.
“It is more worrisome that when you withdraw from Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, across the country, what you have on your hands are dirty, mutilated and tattered Naira notes, which ought to be rejected outright by all Nigerians lest they expose themselves to more health hazard.
“In advanced countries, such dirty notes once received by banks are immediately sent to the mint for replacement.”
The group appealed to the CBN governor to ensure that the best international practices are observed in the handling of old naira notes, adding, “Our Naira note should be seen as a national symbol and we should not diminish our country in the commity of nations.”