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Experts commend CBN over plan to change naira to paper notes

By The Citizen

Some financial experts on Wednesday commended the CBN on its plan to change naira notes from polymer to paper notes in second quarter of 2014.

They said in Lagos that the plan was a good decision, but long over-due.

NAN reports that the polymer notes were first introduced in 2007 with N20 denomination and later in 2009 with the N5, N10, and N50 denominations.

Mr Muda Yusuf , the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said that the decision was well intended.

He said that it was an error on the part of CBN to have produced polymer notes.

Yusuf urged the CBN to be cost conscious in the production of naira notes, saying the polymer notes lacked quality as they faded easily.

He also advised the CBN to ensure that the new naira notes would have longer life span for them to stand the test of time.

'I think there is quality issue with the polymer notes because they fade so fast.

'If you examine some of the polymer notes, you will be struggling to read what is written on them.

'So, I think it is a better decision because the quality of the polymer is so poor and it was an error for CBN to have opted for the use of polymer notes,' he said.

Mr Harrison Owoh, the Managing Director, HJ Trust and Investments in Lagos, said: 'I wonder why it took the CBN a period of six years before it detected the flaws in the polymer notes'.

Owoh said that the move by the CBN to phase out the polymer notes might be politically inclined, adding that the CBN had been 'foot dragging' on the issue for long.

NAN reports that Mr Tunde Lemo, Deputy Governor, (Operations) at CBN, on Nov. 21, said that Nigerians would be handling a new generation of naira notes by second quarter of 2014.

He said that the bank had earlier announced to the public that it would change naira from polymer to paper and that all the notes would not be withdrawn at the same time.

'Nigerians will be having new generation notes in paper in the next few months.

'We will wait until the notes wear and tear. When they wear, and they travel back to Central Bank, of course they will be re-issued,' he said.

According to him, the life cycle of a note in Nigeria is between six months and a year and the CBN took that decision six months ago.

'I reckon that in the next three to six months you will begin to see these denominations re-appear in paper.' (NAN)