By Bolaji Buhari
Lagos – The Association of Progressive Nigerians has appealed to the Central Bank to withdraw old and tattered naira notes from circulation as the country is battling COVID- 19 pandemic.
The group made the appeal in a statement it issued in Lagos on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the statement was jointly signed by Alhaji Mohammed Bello, the group’s president and Mr Oluwole Aina, its general secretary.
The group said the appeal became necessary as the continued recirculation of old, tattered naira notes, which had passed several hands, might lead to further spread of the pandemic.
“We hereby appeal to the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to please withdraw these old and tattered naira notes from circulation as continued recycling of such notes may endanger public health and lead to the further spread of the dreaded Corona Virus.
“We observe with sadness that what most banks are doing is to push out these dirty naira notes in endless recycling of what should have been withdrawn and replaced with freshly minted notes.
“It is more worrisome that when you withdraw from ATMs across the country, what you have on your hands are dirty, mutilated and tattered naira notes which ought to be rejected outright by all Nigerians lest they expose themselves to a health hazard,” the group said
According to the pan-Nigerian group, such dirty notes, once received by banks, are immediately sent to the mint for replacement in advanced countries.
“We appeal to the CBN governor to ensure that the best international practices are observed in the handling of old naira notes.
“Our naira notes should be seen as a national symbol and we should not diminish our country in the comity of nations”, the group added.