By Emem Idio, Yenagoa
Excited indigenes of communities in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for giving them the opportunity to swap their old Naira notes for the redesigned notes.
Indigenes of Agbere, Odoni, Ofoni, Sagbama Town, Toru-Orua, and some other adjoining communities and villages in Sagbama Local Government Area, who had the opportunity to swap the new Naira notes, thanked the CBN for their community inclusive policy.
The CBN had on Wednesday, ahead of the January 31 deadline, begun a cash swap policy in Bayelsa State through agents to distribute the newly redesigned notes to rural communities in all the local government areas of the state.
The nation’s apex bank recently made arrangements with super agents, as well as mobile money operators to swap the old N200, N500 and N1,000 for the newly redesigned notes under the policy.
An octogenarian and retired civil servant, Madam Lucy Owei, native of Agbere community told our reporter that she had resigned her fate that she will lose her money as she had no one to change them for her in Yenagoa, the state capital.
She said: “This is unbelievable, with all the inconveniences and high transportation cost, I had already given up that I will lose my money before I heard the community town crier announce that we should bring our old notes to swap for the new ones.
“I am very happy and even the whole community is happy with CBN for having us in mind because we would have lost so much money because there is no single bank here or around us, except in Yenagoa the state capital, and the transportation is about N5000 because of the current fuel price.”
Another indigene of Odoni community Mr Timizi Pascal, said the cash swap has saved them a lot of trouble, adding that most people had stopped receiving the old notes in the community because of the fear of how to return the old notes.
“This is coming at the right time because some people have been stranded with the old notes because most people have started rejecting them in the community even the money agents. As you can see, the people are happy because they now have the opportunity to swap their old notes for the new ones. We want to commend the CBN for this great intervention.”
CBN official agents, Mr Enarere Gokpa and Comrad Obikwere, who monitored the cash swap in Sagbama Local Government Area, said the goal of the CBN is to ensure that no Nigerian loses their hard-earned money on account of the introduction of new notes irrespective of their location in the country.
According to the CBN officials, the agents were expected to swap up to N10, 000 per person while amounts above N10, 000 would be treated as deposits, an initiative aimed at increasing circulation of the new naira dominations, particularly in the rural areas.
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