NEW NAIRA NOTES POLL

A Proportion of Nigerians are Yet to Physically See the New Naira Notes

Abuja, Nigeria. January 24th, 2023 A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that about 43.7 million (41 percent) adult Nigerians nationwide claimed that they have not physically seen the new redesigned naira notes since it was launched on December 15th, 2022. With the deadline for the phasing out of the old naira denominations of ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) fast approaching, a cross-section of Nigerians across the country have lamented the scarcity of the new naira notes. For instance, news report revealed that traders at the popular Balogun Market in Lagos have raised concerns over the continued scarcity of the new naira notes despite CBN’s assurance of the availability of the new naira through money deposit banks.

Furthermore, it is gratifying to note that almost all (98 percent) adult Nigerians nationwide expressed awareness of the redesigned Naira notes by the apex bank. This response cuts across gender, geographical locations, and age-groups with a minimum representation of 97 percent. Similarly, awareness on the deadline for when the old Naira notes (₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000) ceases to be a legal tender was gauged and the poll result revealed that 74 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide are mindful of the deadline. On the contrary, 26 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide claimed they are unaware of the January 31st deadline.

With regards to support, majority of adult Nigerians (65 percent) stated categorically that they are not in support of the January 31st deadline as announced by the CBN. The top three reasons given were; the new notes are scares and bank ATMs are still dispensing old notes (44 percent), the deadline is too short (33 percent) and the deadline will negatively affect businesses in the country.

On the other hand, 32 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide are in support of the January 31st deadline and the top three reasons mentioned for their support are as follows; they believe it is government policy and they must comply with it (52 percent), the policy is good to usher in the new year (17 percent) and that the time is enough for people to deposit their old Naira notes in the bank (10 percent).

More findings from the poll revealed that some of the challenges Nigerians are facing in meeting the January 31st deadline include a significant scarcity of the new notes (40 percent), issuance of old notes in banks and ATMs (8 percent) and understanding the cashless policy (6 percent). Amidst these challenges, the CBN has emphasised that there will be no extension after the January 31st, 2023, deadline. Therefore, citizens are advised to ensure they deposit all the ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 banknotes in their possession before the deadline of January 31st, 2023, as disclosed by 42 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide. These are some of the key findings from the New Naira Note Poll conducted in the week commencing January 9th, 2023.

Background

On the 16th of October 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced their intention to redesign the ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes to new ones and stated that the old notes will cease to be a legal tender by 31st January 2023. The apex bank through the Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele cited numerous reasons for the need to redesign the naira notes and these reasons include inflation problems, currency counterfeiting, insecurity, currency circulation and other issues plaguing the country’s currency entirely.

In terms of currency circulation, the apex bank further adduced that as at the end of September 2022, information available showed that out of the 3.2 trillion which supposed to be in circulation, a staggering 2.73 trillion is circulating outside the coffers of commercial banks nationwide which means 84 percent of the money in circulation is outside the banking system. The CBN further stated that even though currency circulation has increased from 1.46 trillion in 2015 to 3.2 trillion as at September 2022, currency circulation outside the banking system has also increased tremendously. The CBN expressed displeasure over this worrisome trend and decided to nip the issue in the bud as it has sapped the energy out of the economy and taken same to a comatose stage[1].

As the deadline approaches for the old notes to cease circulation and amidst the scarcity of the new naira notes, many citizens are locked in the dilemma of the workability of introduction of the new naira notes. Many banks across the country still dispense old naira notes from their ATM and hardly issue new naira notes as the deadline edges even closer. Also, the issue of withdrawal limit and cashless policy of the central bank where individuals can withdraw ₦500,000 while cooperate accounts have ₦5,000,000 as their withdrawal limits weekly has generated debates and arguments nationwide[2]. Amidst the challenges, hues and cries regarding the new naira notes and weekly withdrawal limits, it remains to be seen if the apex bank will rise to the occasion or Nigerians will continue to groan under the new policy. Against this backdrop, NOIPolls conducted a public opinion poll to feel the pulse of Nigerians regarding the new Naira notes.

Survey Findings

The first question sought to measure awareness on the redesign of ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 notes by the CBN across Nigeria. It is gratifying to note that almost all (98 percent) adult Nigerians nationwide are aware of some Naira notes redesign by the apex bank of Nigeria.  This response cuts across gender, geographical locations, and age-groups with a minimum representation of 97 percent.

Subsequently, when respondents were asked if they have physically seen or used any of the new Naira notes, about 6 in 10 (59 percent) adult Nigerians nationwide admitted they have physically seen or transacted business with the new notes. This statement cuts across gender, regions, and age-groups with at least 52 percent representation.

On the contrary, 41 percent of adult Nigerians claimed they are yet to physically see or use the new naira notes for business transactions.

Furthermore, 59 percent of the Nigerians who mentioned that they have physically seen or transacted business with new notes were further probed to ascertain the denomination they have transacted business with. The responses revealed that 38 percent acknowledged that they have transacted business with the ₦1,000 note. While 26 percent mentioned the ₦500 note, 13 percent indicated that it is the ₦200 note. Although 8 percent stated that they have not transacted business with any of the notes, 15 percent confirmed that they have transacted business with all the three new redesigned notes.

Consequently, awareness on the deadline when the old Naira notes (₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000) ceases to be a legal tender was asked and the poll result revealed that 74 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide are mindful of the deadline. On the contrary, 26 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide claimed that they are not aware of the January 31st deadline.

With regards to support on the deadline, 65 percent of adult Nigerians stated categorically that they are not in support of the January 31st deadline as announced by the CBN. This view cuts across gender, geo-political zones, and age-group with at least 55 percent representation.

On the other hand, 32 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide are in support of the January 31st deadline announced by the CBN. In addition, a paltry 3 percent of the respondents had mix feelings as they were either in support or against the deadline.

Respondents were further probed and of the 32 percent who were in support of the January 31st deadline, the top three reason mentioned for their support are as follows; they believe it is government policy and they must comply with it (52 percent), the policy is good to usher in the new year (17 percent) and that the time is enough for people to deposit their old Naira notes (10 percent) amongst other reasons.

Also, of the 65 percent did not support the deadline, the top three reasons given are as follows; that the new notes are scares and bank ATMs are still dispensing old notes (44 percent), that the deadline is too short (33 percent) and the deadline will negatively affect businesses amongst other responses.

When respondents were asked: what are you doing to meet up with the January 31st deadline? Irrespective of the views of Nigerians of the deadline, 42 percent of adult Nigerians disclosed that they will ensure that they submit all the old Naira notes (₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000) before the deadline. On the flipside, 32 percent of the respondents stated that may likely not do anything.  Other responses include adjusting to the new withdrawal limit (7 percent), activating online banking platform (3 percent), and learning more about the cashless policy (3 percent).

Regarding difficulty faced on meeting the deadline, while 40 percent mentioned that they are having challenges in obtaining the new Naira notes, 39 percent are of the view that they are not facing any challenges.

In conclusion, the poll results have shown that with the deadline for the phasing out of the old naira denominations of ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000 by the CBN fast approaching, a significant cross-section of Nigerians across the country have lamented over the scarcity of the new notes as they are yet to physically see or transact business with the new redesigned naira notes. Although the apex bank has stressed that there will be no extension after the January 31st, 2023, deadline, majority of adult Nigerians stated categorically that they are not in support of the January 31st deadline as announced by the CBN mainly due to scarcity of the new notes. Therefore, citizens are advised to ensure they deposit all the ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1, 000 banknotes in their possession before the deadline of January 31st, 2023, as disclosed by 42 percent of adult Nigerians surveyed.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week commencing January 9th, 2023. It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geo-political regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English, and English. Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians. Nonetheless, with the country’s tele density put over 100 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate. Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach. NOIPolls Limited, No. 1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com.

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited, or published. NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken because of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions, or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

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[1] https://punchng.com/nigerians-receive-new-naira-notes-with-mixed-feelings/

[2] https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-cbn-increases-weekly-cash-withdrawal-limit-for-individuals-to-n500k