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Monday, January 30, 2023

CBN faces Reps inquisition over Naira redesign, as banks’ ATMs fail to dispense new notes –

The apparent mishandling of the naira’s redesign policy prompted the intervention of the National Assembly, the House of Commons, which invited Central Bank Governor Godwin Emerfele and the Bankers’ Council to meet later today (Wednesday, January 25), Explain why the newly designed naira banknotes are not fully in circulation.

Since January 31st is the deadline for sweeping old nara Banknotes are looming, and many Nigerians, especially those in rural areas, are agonizing over the scarcity of new banknotes, which is hampering commerce across the country.

In response to this situation, Apex Bank has established cash clearing centers in 774 local government areas of the Commonwealth.

This was contained in a circular issued by the central bank over the weekend, dated January 20, 2023, and signed by Bank Supervision and Payment Systems Directors Haruna Mustafa and Musa Jimoh respectively.

Targeting Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Mobile Money Operators, Super Agents and Agents, the notice said the campaign will enable rural residents to seamlessly exchange old naira notes for redesigned notes.

It read in part, “In order to advance its naira redesign policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) maintained its nationwide awareness/advocacy program mandating fast-track collection of new notes by Depository Banks (DMB) at CBN branches, And mandate the issuance of new banknotes through automated teller machines (ATMs) to ensure fair, transparent and even distribution across the country.

“In addition to these measures, and recognizing the need to maximize access to exchange naira for underserved and rural communities, the bank is working with super-agents and DMBs to introduce a cash swap scheme. The scheme enables citizens in rural areas or those Those with access to formal financial services will be able to exchange old naira notes for redesigned notes.

“The measure will take effect on Monday, January 23, 2023.”

Sanctions on erring banks To ensure widespread compliance with the regulation, the CBN further revealed that banks that continue to fill their ATMs with old naira notes will be sanctioned.

The call was made on behalf of Emefiele by Mr Kofo Salam-Alada, Director of Legal Services, Central Bank of Nigeria, at a promotional event at Lagos State Computer Village last Wednesday.

He said, “I can tell you today that the CBN is issuing new notes every day. As we speak, the banks are taking money with the CBN. We are literally begging the banks to come and take money from the central bank. We have these in our coffers The new naira note, we begged the banks to come and take it.

“We have monitors around the banks now too. I’ve been to some ATMs this morning and I’ve done the reporting. We didn’t mobilize the masses against the banks because the banks are there for you but rest assured they will now for you service because they know that CBN is giving you new naira notes.”

Meanwhile, Ripples Nigeria visited banks in the Ketu area of ​​Lagos State and the investigation confirmed that only Union Bank had issued the new notes as of Tuesday, January 24.

Also read:Emefiele absent as CBN official meets Reps, says cash withdrawal restrictions won’t affect Nigerians

Visited all the banks along the 12 mile to Ketu corridor – First Bank, UBA, Access, FCMB, Zenith Bank, Eco Bank, Fidelity, GTB and Stanbic – found ATMs empty, ostensibly for fear of sanctions CBN .

One of the bank security guards told reporters that the bank has not yet received the new banknotes, while another security guard revealed that some banks holding the new banknotes have fixed the withdrawal limit at N20,000 per account to ensure that the banknotes are not received among customers. fair distribution.

Delayed Appeal

In order to have a smooth launch and ensure the widespread use and distribution of the new notes, the Senate on Tuesday urged the CBN to extend the deadline for exchanging old naira notes to May 31, 2023 from the January 31 deadline.

The Senate also urged the CBN to open an exchange window where the unbanked can deposit their old notes.

The Senate resolution is a follow-up to a motion brought by Kwara North APC Senator Sadiq Umar, who asked for the deadline to be extended to July 31 amid concerns that the apex bank would insist on not extending it.

In filing the motion, Omar recalled that the Senate, in a resolution dated December 28, 2022, urged the CBN to extend the lifespan of old banknotes from January 31 to June 30, he said, however, the apex bank insisted on terminating Old Naira notes are used until the end of January.

Lamenting that there are not enough new naira notes in circulation and proposing to extend the date to July 31, the senator said: “Experience around the world shows that such sudden decisions often create confusion if left unchecked.

“The Senate should extend the expiration of the old bills until July 31.”

In his address, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Rawan Noting that most Senate constituencies are unbanked, said: “In rural Nigeria, there are no banks and people more often transact in cash.

“There is no doubt that we must have a window of communication. We must have a policy through the CBN to set up bank branches in rural areas.

“For the most ordinary Nigerian, we need this extension.”

As a result, the issue was voted on by a majority of lawmakers in favor of an extension to July 31, 2023.

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