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Lack of Cash Is Stalling Nigeria’s $220 Billion Informal Economy

  • Court to hear appeal to stop currency demonetization Wednesday
  • Cocoa growers to shopkeepers in Lagos depend on cash
Customers queue to withdraw new banknotes in Lagos.
Customers queue to withdraw new banknotes in Lagos.Photographer: Benson Ibeabuchi/Bloomberg

For 20 years, Ogbogo Moses used cash to trade fresh fruits for six days a week in Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna state. Now she’s lucky to get clients every other day and is stocking up only half her usual quantity. 

Moses’ business is among the collateral damage of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s move to demonetize high-value notes to mop up excess cash, rein in inflation and even stymie abductions.