By Charles Agwam – Gombe
An amalgamated association of marketers and business owners in Gombe state, has applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for direct intervention on lower denomination banknotes.
In recognition of the important role small and medium scale businesses play in economic recovery, the management of CBN has decided to approve direct disbursement of the lower denominations to business agents in exchange for higher bills.
This measure, according to CBN, will ameliorate the plights of business agents over the inadequate circulation of the lower denominations and difficulties encountered by economic agents such as marketers, merchants, shopping malls, super markets, etc.
Speaking during the public sensitisation and enlightenment campaign on the initiative held at the Gombe Central Market, on Thursday, the president of the amalgamation, Saidu Suleiman Maikusa, commended CBN for the initiative, saying the development will go a long way in boosting sales and easing transactions.
Maikusa said there were no adequate words with which he could use in thanking the management of CBN, on behalf of all market associations, adding that shortage of lower denominations really affected the ease of doing business.
“The shortage of lower currencies affected our daily sales and earnings, and most transactions are sometimes forfeited due to shortage of the lower denominations.”
“I have turned down buyers severally due to lack of change to give them, in this period of hardship, and I believe many of our members here have similar stories. We will forever be grateful to CBN” Mr. Maikusa added.
Speaking earlier, the Director, Currency Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Priscilla E. Eleje, represented by Usman Dansabo, explained that the objective of the intervention is to ease the accessibility of these notes and consequently, address the dearth of these denomination in circulation.
According to her, the disbursement would be made through commercial banks of identified markets association and other identified beneficiaries, adding that the account of the beneficiary must be funded before any withdrawal would be made.
The banknotes were to be delivered to beneficiaries without any extra costs to them, adding that the Central Bank has devolved a framework of assessing the judicious use of the disbursed funds.
The framework consists on the spot checks, on the business premises of beneficiaries after the receipts of the notes, including a mystery shopper approach to check defaulters.
In his welcome address, the branch controller, Mal. Shehu Goringo, called on all market and traders associations to key into the laudable initiative to promote effective and efficient business transactions, to further enhance the availability of lower denomination banknotes in circulation.