By Ogalah Ibrahim
In the bid to mop up all the unwanted old Naira notes still in circulation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all banks in the country to also work tomorrow Sunday.
The Director of Currency Operations, Ahmed Umar disclosed this to journalists during a press conference in Katsina on Sunday.
He also said that the apex bank ruled against banks issuing the new notes from across the counters but through ATM machines to avoid discriminating between big and small customers.
“We believe that using the ATM machine will give people equal opportunity to have access to the new notes.
“We are also able to track the volume of disbursement that is done through the ATM because of the log on it,” Umar said
On how they are ensuring that those in Katsina rural areas have access to the new notes, the CBN Director said:
“In Katsina there are over 750 registered agents who are tied to three banks. We disbursed N120 million to these banks to issue to these agents. Each agents is expected to receive N500,000 per week to disburse in their communities. We have been monitoring the agents around here to ensure that they do the needful with the new notes issued to them.
“We are riding on the back of the agents to help those from far distance and communities without banks nor ATMs to receive the new notes.
“We have teams monitoring the disbursement and distribution of the new notes. The monitoring exercise covers checking ATMs machines to ensure that money is loaded on the ATM machines for people to withdraw.”
In the same vein, Umar said the apex bank is currently carrying out additional cash swap programmes to local government in the state in order to ensure that everyone particularly those people who have less than N10,000 exchange their old notes for new ones to enable them continue with their lives.
Meanwhile, on the appeal from different quarters for extension of the deadline, the CBN Director of Currency Operation said: “There is no new directives on that till this moment. The deadline still remains 31 January 2023. So, we advise people to adhere to the deadline and deposit their money.”
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