What if Naira is the big elephant in the room in Nigeria’s spread of Covid-19. Should we not give the matter deeper consideration seeing that community transmission is the new order of spread of the virus? Is there a more ubiquitous instrument moving around our communities as our local currency, the Naira? From urban areas to rural areas across Nigeria, what physical, tangible item, moves faster than Naira? From one neighbourhood to another is the situation not the same?
We love our naira. Some love to squeeze it. Some love to show it; others love to hide it in some of the places you would not believe. Yet others simply love to spray it, despite the protestations by the CBN,
and others. We love to handle it. Look again at the word handle and see what word the first four letters give us: hand – that part of the body often fingered for taking the virus to the face. Speaking of fingering, what is that pleasurable habit of some when they handle a bundle of Naira notes as they attempt to determine the amount? Where do they take their fingers when the want to grease them to make the counting easier? How many people have seen those who keep their face masks on while counting their notes? If we have not formed the habit of not greasing our fingers with our saliva, where would we turn when we feel the urge to grease the fingers to make it easier for us to count our naira notes? How many of us have successfully resisted the urge to collect or receive cash in payment for a service we rendered or something we sold?
Has it crossed our minds at all as to whether a compatriot may have handed over to us the Covid-19 virus through the cash we collected from such persons? Doesn’t the probability exist that in our predominant cash society, we may have been spreading Covid-19 through the circulating cash far more than through the regular ‘guilty’ channels?