The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it supplied “massive” amount of the new naira notes to commercial banks as customers lament the difficulty in obtaining the banknotes.
Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, represented by Musa Jimoh, the director of Payment System Management Department of the bank, disclosed this in a news conference on in Jos.
”The CBN has massively supplied the new notes to commercial banks to dispense both at counters and ATMs,” stated Mr Emefiele. “This is to enable quick circulation and we want to advice commercial banks to desist from keeping the cash away from the public or face the stiffer sanction.”
Mr Emefiele advised bank customers to deposit their old notes at any commercial bank and obtain the new banknotes with immediate effect, insisting that the January 31 deadline would not be extended.
The CBN governor explained that the decision to redesign the currency shows that the apex bank is in tandem with global standard, adding that currency notes ought to be redesigned within five years.
He, however, regretted that it took Nigeria nine years since such changes was last effected.
Speaking during a monitoring and sensitisation exercise held in some locations in Jos, the CBN governor said the decision to redesign the country’s higher denominations of currency was a national project aimed at addressing problems related to cash circulation.
He added that it would also solve the challenge of prolonged savings in piggy banks, cash hoarding and incidents of fake currencies.
“The monitoring and sensitisation project was activated by the apex bank for investigation of the attitude of banks toward the spread of the new currencies.
”We are equally using it to create awareness on the use of agents to circulate the cash in communities with few or no bank branches available,” he explained.