The Senate has expressed worry over the scarcity of lower denomination currency notes in the country.
The lawmakers noted that the scarcity of N5, N10, N20, N50, N100 and N200 notes poses a great threat to the economy which was just recovering from recession.
The Senate’s resolution followed a motion on “Scarcity of Lower Denomination Currency Notes”, sponsored by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta), during Tuesday’s plenary.
The members of the upper legislative chambers however, mandated its Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance, to investigate scarcity of lower denomination currency notes.
Nwaoboshi said the nation’s currency was highly essential and critical in national development, adding that if mismanaged, the economy would be doomed, with adverse effect on the people and the nation.
He noted that banks in Nigeria no longer dispensed lower Naira denominations, with the excuse that they hardly received them from the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN.
Nwaoboshi said that if the situation was not remedied urgently, it may lead to total collapse of the economy.
Senator Magnus Abe (APC-Rivers), said the lower denomination currencies remained legal tender, and that their scarcity was “an indirect way of pushing up the prices of commodities.”
“In this matter, we must be careful not to place this country in such a position that the economy is no longer managed by those that we asked to manage it.
“When circumstances outside of our own dictates begin to determine the action that we take, then it means that we are not in control,” Abe said.
Also, the Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, said one of the issues affecting lower denomination currencies was the haste with which higher denominations were introduced in Africa.
“It is not just a Nigerian thing. With the level of higher denominations, it affects the production and acceptance of the lower denominations.
“This is the area we need to look at. With this effort, the issue will be redressed,” Ekweremadu said.
The committee is expected to report back to the Senate within two weeks.