By Kayode Amolegbe
Coins used to be visible in economic activities in the country. From the pre-independence period when the first set of coins was introduced to the mid-1990s, coins were generally acceptable and widely used for payment of goods and services. But gradually, coins became less visible and acceptable. Today they are almost extinct.
This is in spite of the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the last seven years to revive public acceptability of coins. While some blame the seeming general distaste for coins as a legal tender on the heaviness of the metals used to produce them, some believe it is because the amount denominated in coins cannot buy anything. But despite these factors, what can government do to make Nigerians accept and use coins. “Nothing!” That was the response of majority of the people that spoke to Vanguard.
“If the prices of goods and services can come down, the coins would be spendable. But I do not think the coins will have value again,” said Mr. Bernard, a commercial tricycle rider.
“There is nothing government can do as people do not accept coins again. Maybe the money they want to use to implement the N5,000 should be invested in something else and leave the other currencies as notes,” said, Miss Elizabeth, a student of University of Agriculture Abeokuta, UNAAB.“I do not foresee coins coming to this generation again. So, I do not think government can do anything; there is no state of coins that comes back that is useful again. They have made coins to be useless, so what are they going to do? Besides, people do not want to carry coins in their pocke,” declared Mr. Ezekiel, a commercial tricycle rider.
“People do not like coins. There is nothing they can do. Some people do not appreciate coins; maybe they can take it back to papers,” maintained Ola, a student of Ibadan Polytechnic.
“In my own opinion there are no ways coins can be accepted? Looking at our coins, it cannot be compared to other countries’; our own is as heavy as a stone. So for someone like me to be carrying coins; I do not think there is anything government can do. Talking about government reducing the prices of goods and services, it depends. As far as I am concerned, looking at the denomination they want to convert into coins, I believe people that patronise pure water will accept coins,” stated Mr. Okoye Omonlove.
“I think the coins are very heavy money to carry about. They should just abort the coins stuff; let just face it the way we are and forget about that N5,000 note,” said Adora, a student of Nnamdi Azikwe University.
“There is nothing coins can buy as at now. There should be price control, that is the only way out in my own opinion, because without price control; just like the issue of pure water, nobody can get pure water for five naira and except government can mandate the manufacturers to do so.
“And before government can mandate manufacturers, definitely they must control the import duties because manufacturers will complain about import duties, and whenever import duty is high definitely the government cannot mandate them. But if the government can beat down the import duties, then definitely government can tell them to beat down their price. I think that is the only way coins can be in the system,” Mr. Samson, a driver, opined.
“There is nothing government can do for the citizen to accept coin. “I do not think there is anything the government can do. Because, first, coins is heavy and it is not easy to carry in your pocket; we do not need coins,” said Ayobami Salami, a secondary school graduate.
‘There is nothing the government can do; the coins have no value again. They should scrap it,’declared Mrs. Temitope, Administrator, ENEDA Nursery and Primary school)
“Coins are a legal tender I will accept it. But the thing is that our society has not reached the level where coins can be used, most of the people that could use them, the market people, they are not literate enough to know the purpose of coins. And again this ATM machines would not be able to dispense coins, so generally there is no economy that does not have coins, because coins moderate inflation.
“If you buy something maybe N2.30 kobo or 2.3 kobo they should give you a change but they do not do so in Nigeria. It is either N10, N 20, N5; N50 is even difficult to find, so that is the challenge because they have to get a round figure for every purchase you make, so it increases inflation in a way. In our society it is not easy to implement policies the way they are formulated; there are too many intervening factors that we do not take into consideration when making the policy.
“So what the government can do is, maybe, they should publicise and make people understand that coins is important and they should rely on the judgment of the people to accept coins. And again that banks to dispense and accept the coins; because when you pay people with coins they will be able to accept it,” said Chris, a Journalist.
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