By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
As the January 31st deadline for the phasing out of the old N200, N500 and N1000 note approaches, officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Abeokuta Branch on Thursday visited various Mobile money/Point of Sales agents in Ogun State to monitor the implementation of its recently introduced cash swap policy.
The cash swap programme is targeted at fast-tracking the withdrawal of the old notes from circulation.
The apex bank recently directed its super agents to swap the old N200, N500 and N1,000 naira notes for the newly redesigned notes under the policy.
“Super agents are companies licensed by the CBN to recruit agents for the purpose of agency banking”.
The agents were expected to swap up to N10, 000 per person while amounts above N10, 000 would be treated as deposits”.
The officials, who visited agents across the state including; Ijebu-Ode, Sango Ota, Ilisan-Remo, Ikene, Sagamu amongst others said the move was to ascertain whether the super agents are truly disbursing the new notes to the POS agents who are expected to further circulate it to their various customers as directed by CBN.
Speaking with journalists during the monitoring exercise, CBN Deputy Director, Banking Supervision Department, Jayeola Olugbenga, said, the essence of the visit was to create awareness for residents of the state, especially the rural dwellers was to ensure that the new note is circulated across the state.
The Director noted that the CBN was intensifying efforts to make sure that the new N200, N500 and N1000 notes are circulated before the deadline.
His words “We want people to be aware, especially people in the rural areas and for this new note to go round that’s why we have distributed this money to the super agents . We are moving to ensure that they already have the money and they are giving people.
“We have moved around and we have seen that ATMs that were not functioning are now functioning so there is no more excuse for people.
“N500,000 is given to an agent per week so those that have received only 250 or 300 will still go back to get the rest. We want to assure the general public that the money is there and more ATMs are functioning,”he added.
He expressed satisfaction that all the super agents in the state are operating in compliance with the directive of the apex bank.
“So far we are happy because all the nooks and crannies of this state the super agents are functioning and from our interview, people are happy with this development.”
Also, the Deputy Director for Research Department, CBN Dr Adeniyi Olatunde Adenuga stressed that the exercise will help in the area of financial inclusion.
He said “Now we have to go to rural areas. That aspect will help us in the areas of financial inclusion. With these agents, people can come with their old notes and get a maximum of 10 thousand naira.
Olatunde added “people must embrace this programme, what we are doing is to sensitize them to ensure that we mobilize them for them to see the new notes and embrace it”.
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