As reported today in The Nation Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has asked Nigerians to show understanding (!!!) in face of the acute scarcity of new naira notes and the excruciating pains they are passing through at the moment.
The process of exchanging the old banknotes as carried by the Central Bank of Nigeria is a textbook example of how NOT to do it.
For a country of 220 million people of which 47% live in rural areas, with difficult access to banks, the exchange was finally extended to 55 days, with a “grace” period of one week where people could only redeem their notes at the branches of the Central Bank.
Commercial banks where not permitted to exchange old notes for the new, could not pay more than NGN20,000 (=USD43) in currency, with many not having any notes to pay out, ATM’s dispensing only NGN 20,000 per day, in many cases in old notes, or just being empty.
What could go wrong?
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