Following the naira scarcity that has lasted weeks, many have resorted to using other means of payment such as trade by barter, coins, etc. Daily Trust Saturday sampled the views of some Nigerians on what they think of the use of coins for transactions?
Iniabasi Umo (Akwa-Ibom), Abubakar Akote (Minna) & Salim Umar Ibrahim (Kano)
Ekomobong Friday, 35, Teacher, Uyo
It will be good but it will be heavy because of the weight. It can easily be stolen because people would know you are carrying money, unlike the notes that you can easily fold into your pocket. Also, how to count it will be a problem because it takes time to count. However, there is nothing wrong in using coins. After all, the use of coins was effective in the past.
Victor Marcus, 42, Public Affairs Analyst, Uyo
It is not a good idea because we have already abandoned coins. Coins are not in circulation, so how do you transact business with coins? For example, if you are given N2,000 in coins, how do you carry it? Moreover, most shops and service providers do not accept coins.
Chenemi Bamaiyi, Journalist, Minna
I think it is a good move by the Central Bank of Nigeria to regulate the economy and the money in circulation. Growing up, we spent coins and at that time, the highest note was N200. In fact, it was from N100 and then it moved to N200. At that time, you could get items in the market such as garri for N5, and sugar for N2 and it gave value for money. But over time, due to policies that have not favoured the economy, inflation crept in which necessitated the need to have higher denominations and over time it caused the sharp decline in the value of the naira. So, with the current cashless policy going on, injecting these lesser currencies into circulation will force down the inflation figure right now in the country. To me, it is a good move at this critical time. And the most important thing now is for people to get used to using it for transactions. It is just to reorientate the mind of Nigerians and I think it will truly help the naira.
Sanusi Adamu, 45, Keke rider, Minna
To me, bringing back coins will surely be of help to poor Nigerians; it will ease the hardship people are going through. When coins were in existence, you could buy something of N2 which is currently N5 or even N10. What was sold N3 then is now N5 or N10. That time, you could buy something of N2 or N3 and when you give N5, you still have your balance to collect. It is a nice decision. What we only need is to get access to the coins. It is not about saying people should use it and at the end of the day, it is nowhere to be seen. So, the government should make it available and accessible to Nigerians. It is truly a welcome development.
Adamu Isah, Petty trader, Minna
They should bring it back. We are ready to use it, especially now that we don’t have access to cash. All these transfers that people make when they buy things are affecting our business because we need cash to do other things. Our businesses are dying. The business of those who have no bank accounts is dying because when our customers ask for an account number and you don’t have one, they move elsewhere and your goods remain in the shop and get spoiled. So, bringing back coins will be very important because we will have both lower and higher denominations of the naira.
Faridat Isah, Petty Trader, Minna
Bringing back coins is not a good idea because we are already used to cash. So, there is no need to bring back coins. They should make cash available and let it flow to the masses. Coins have no purchasing power and it is not pocket friendly and not portable. The moment you hold coins in your pocket or bag, people would know and it is very risky. If you withdraw N20,000 now and they give coins, how do you carry it? It is not a good idea to me.
Adamu Hamza, 29, Businessman, Kano
Honestly, no! The negative is more than the positive, but it depends on what we are using it for. As a businessman, the least of my goods is N2,200, how can you give me coins for that amount? Even if it is N200, it’s funny.
Mansur Rabiu, 36, Mechanic, Kano
There will be problems. Coins will not suffice. Will that bring back the credibility of the money or what? If it will, then it’s welcome, but, if it will not, definitely, I believe 99 per cent of Nigerians will not welcome it.
Ibrahim Abdulahi, 31, Lecturer, Kano
I don’t think going back to the use of coins will be of any relevance in today’s Nigeria. First question we should ask ourselves is: how many things can you buy with most of our lower denomination of currency? They are few or negligible. We lost track with the introduction of higher denominations. How do you expect people to be carrying heavy bags of coins, say N2,000 to buy 2 loaves of bread? That means most of our energy will be on carrying coins along. There is nothing you can buy with N2 in Nigeria today.”