CBN begs traders to accept new naira notes
By pamela okemiri
January 13, 2023
•January 31 deadline for old banknotes return stands •DSS , other agencies to arrest currency counterfeiters
Seventeen days to January 31 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for people to deposit old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes to banks, many people are still skeptical about accepting the new banknotes.
Following reported cases of traders rejecting the new naira notes, the CBN has therefore pleaded with market men and women across the country to accept the new notes.
Speaking yesterday to traders at Wuse Market in Abuja, CBN Abuja Branch Controller Michael Ogbu urged the traders to see all of nation’s currencies old and new as national symbols.
Ogbu, who was represented by Kareem Williams, assured the traders that the new Naira denominations were genuine and could not be easily counterfeited.
He specifically charged the traders to stop rejecting the new notes, stressing that “refusing to accept the Naira in a transaction is a crime” that could land them in trouble with the law.
Ogbu advised the market men and women, “to ensure that you deposit cash holdings in these denominations (N200, N500 and N1,000) at your commercial banks”.
He encouraged the public to explore other payment channels, such as eNaira, POS, electronic transfer, USSD, internet banking, and mobile money operators and agents, for payment settlement.
He reminded the traders not to be afraid to take their money to the banks stressing that “there is no limit to how much a customer can deposit between now and January 31, 2023, as the CBN has suspended bank charges”.
Hauwa Ndayabo of the Currency Operations Department of the CBN, showed the traders how to tilt the new notes towards the sunlight to see embedded features that change colours.
These features, she said, are invincible except when tilted at an angle to the sun.
While in Lagos, the apex bank also assured marketers and traders that it has made the redesigned naira notes available for them via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
The Branch Controller, CBN, Lagos State, Koyor Baribokola, gave the assurance when the apex bank took its sensitisation tour on the new naira notes to Balogun Market, Lagos.
He said the apex bank initially had a challenge as people were not depositing the old notes, but the situation had changed.
“We are having much deposits now; this gives us the confidence to push more new notes into circulation and into the economy.
“We are making them available to you and you will have them if you haven’t had them before. Please have the assurance that you are going to have them.
“We pushed out a lot last week and today we are continuing with it, part of the meeting was what delayed my coming out here.
“We set a date for the deadline for the complete change over that is Jan. 31, and for now, that stands. We have not extended or changed the time.
“So, between now and the January 31, all the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes you have in your possession, bring it to the bank and then take new ones,” Baribokola said.
He encouraged stakeholders to be the apex bank’s mouthpiece by spreading the message, and to protect and keep the new notes safe.