The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has intensified its nationwide sensitisation to promote the acceptance and use of the newly redesigned Naira notes ahead of the January 31, deadline for the use of old notes,leadership report.
Speaking in Lokoja, the CBN warned of consequences for commercial banks found to be stocking their Automated Teller Machines with old notes scheduled to cease to be legal tender by the 31st January.
CBN deputy director, Currency Operations, Dr Rekiyat Yusuf, during the sensitisation of market men and women about the redesigned Naira notes, said that any ATM found to still have old notes would be shot down and appropriate sanction applied on the operating bank.
She urged traders to avail themselves the opportunity of the January 31st deadline window to visit either their banks or any bank in case of those without bank account and exchange their currency with the newly redesigned notes of 200,500 and 1,000 Naira.
“There is no reason for banks to still be stocking their Automated Teller Machines with old notes and the Apex bank has made enough redesigned notes available for dispensing to members of the public adding that any bank caught would be made to face appropriate sanction”
In Calabar, CBN branch controller, Glory Iniunam, said arrangements have been concluded to sanction any of the commercial banks which still dispenses old naira notes to it’s customers in Calabar begining from yesterday.
While answering questions from journalists shortly after sensitising Calabar market women on the re-designed new naira notes and it’s acceptance, Iniunam, threatened that the apex bank would from today not hesitate to release it’s sledge hammer on any bank which fails to adhere to this directives of not dispensing new notes.
In Umuahia, the director of corporate communication of the bank, Mr Osita Nwanisiobi stated this at an awareness and sensitization programme organized by the bank on the notes in Aba, the Abia State commercial hub.
He said the apex bank has enough of the notes and has directed the commercial banks to load their Automated Teller Machines with the notes which are in N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations.
“We have people monitoring the commercial banks for complaince. We’ll monitor the machines to detect those that failed to load them,” he said, adding that he has personally monitored some of them.
Nwanisiobi related that to ease the challenges of meeting the January 31 deadline for the withdrawal of the old notes, “the bank has engaged 1.4 million agents to serve the unbanked”.
Warning that the deadline would not be extended, the director, who showed the traders the notes, appealed to them to take the message “to your communities, associations, and customers”.
According to him, some of the negative remarks critics have made about the quality of the notes, like the staining by the printing ink are some of the security features to prevent counterfeiting.
“The same result will be noticed if you put the old notes or even the U S dollar to the same scrutiny,” added Nwanisiobi, who later led his colleagues to monitor the commercial banks and the mechines.
“We noticed significant complaince by the banks though there are some minor challenges including collection of the notes,” he said while speaking to newsmen after.
Furthermore, on the positive side of the exercise, he explained that the banks have recorded increase in opening of new accounts and the use of other channels of payment.
Speaking earlier, the branch controller of the apex bank, Mr Ayotundu Olaoba, said there is no limit to amount of deposits and appealed to the traders and the general public to ensure they met the dateline.
In his response, the chairman of Ariaria International Market Traders Association, Elder Emeka Igara commended the bank for approving daily withdrawal from the mechine from N20,000.00 to N100,000.00.