- Assures of availability of redesigned currency
BY BAMIDELE FAMOOFO
The Central Bank of Nigeria has assured marketers and traders that it has made the redesigned naira notes (N1000, N500, and N200) available for them via Automated Teller Machines.
This is as the apex bank hinted that the rate of deposit of the old naira notes by bank customers has improved significantly.
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, on Tuesday.
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 many 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 now 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 January 31, and for now, that stands. We have not extended or changed the time.
“So, between now and January 31, all the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes you have in your possession, bring them 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.
“Please have the assurance that the new naira notes were redesigned in the interest of all Nigerians including you so that you have them and you enjoy spending them and keep them safe, and as much as possible, try and also do electronic transactions.
“We encourage people to use our e-channels to do transfers, to spend, to buy and to do all that you need to do to share with your friends and your families,” he stressed.
The Head of Union Homes Success Market, Oloyeola Bisi Balogun, commended the apex bank for choosing to begin its sensitisation with the traders.
She, however, urged the bank to carry out more awareness campaigns on the new notes, particularly at the grassroots.
According to her, there are many people who are yet to see the new notes.
“Let them relate more with the grassroots because the percentage of the people at the grassroots is more than those people in urban areas.
“The CBN has tried to improve the economy through the redesigned notes but we all know that in Nigeria when something is introduced, there’s bound to be complaints.
“We also had the same complaints when the old notes that we are used to now, were first introduced,” she said.
Amos Adamu, a dealer in suitcases, who saw the new notes for the first time, said “I have never seen the new notes but if the redesigned notes can make Nigeria a better place for the masses, I support it.
“Because changing these three denominations will affect the poor because many do not have bank accounts to go and deposit the old notes.”
Also, Mrs. Rebecca Ukachi, a trader, said though she disliked the new notes because they looked like fake notes, she would collect them whenever customers brought them to buy goods from her.
“Let us be sincere, the new notes look fake but I do not have an option, I will collect it because it is legally acceptable, but I still prefer the old notes because of the quality,” she said.