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Stories Of New Bank Notes Untrue, CBN Tells Traders

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has described rumours trailing the new naira notes as unreal, revealing that the notes are of international standard.

There have been rumours of the new notes being weak, dyed, and also substandard. This has led to most traders rejecting the notes for transaction, insisting on the old ones.

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The branch controller, CBN Awka, Mr Benedict Maduagwu stated this on Thursday, during a sensitization event at Onitsha Main Market, Anambra State, to bring traders up to speed about the decisions of the bank, regarding the new notes.

He said the rumours were untrue, and also gave reasons for the redesigning of the notes, including defacing, counterfeiting, and illegal storage of the old notes outside the banks.

Onitsha Main Market is reputed to be the largest market in West Africa.

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Maduagwu said: “Statistic shows that 84.71 percent of currency in circulation are outside the vaults of commercial banks, with only 15.29 percent in the Central Bank and commercial banks’ vaults.

“Second, is the worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes with attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability.

“Third, there is increasing ease by criminals and risk of counterfeiting, evidenced by several security reports received at the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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“The benefits of the currency redesign to the Nigerian economy are enormous. This policy will help to control inflation as the exercise will bring the hoarded currency into the banking system, thereby making monetary policy more effective.

“It will also help with better design and implementation of Monetary Policy as we would have much more accurate data on money supply and monetary aggregates. We believe that this exercise would help in increasing financial inclusion, moving towards a more cashless economy, and ensuring greater formalization of the Nigerian economy.”

READ ALSO: CBN Threatens To Sanction Banks Hoarding New Naira Notes

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He also added: “The currency redesign would assist in the fight against corruption as the exercise would rein in the higher denomination used for corruption, and the movement of such funds from the banking system could be tracked easily.”

The chairman of the market, Mr Innocent Ezeoha complained that despite the short deadline, commercial banks are not dispensing the new notes yet, to customers.

The state director of National Orientation Agency, NOA, Charles Nworji said the agency is set to move into communities to sensitize rural people about the new notes. NOA, he affirmed, will spend two weeks on the task to ensure that traders deposit their old notes on or before January 31, which is the deadline.

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Nigerians Need Cash Now, Osinbajo Laments Naira Scarcity

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has expressed concern over difficulty experienced by Nigerians in getting the new naira notes.

The VP on Friday in Abuja met with some players in the FinTech space to explore possible ways of mitigating the hardship.

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Osinbajo urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and banks to deploy more FinTechs and money agents to the hinterlands to address the worrying situation.

The Vice President stated that Nigerians need cash to pay for transport, food, and other needs.

“In Abuja how do you take ‘drop or along’ or use a Keke NAPEP without cash, or buy foodstuff on the road or in canteens, or even buy recharge cards?

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“Parents with kids in public schools give money daily to their children for lunch, most commerce is informal, so you need cash for most things”, he said.

Osinbajo said it was disturbing that after depositing old notes, there are no new notes: “People everywhere in the urban areas and rural areas simply have no money.”

The nation’s second-in-command observed some FinTechs have mobile money licenses and should be engaged immediately.

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READ ALSO: Allow Old, New Naira Notes Coexist, APC Govs Beg Buhari

He said many of them have micro-finance bank licenses and already have a network of mobile money agents or human banks or human ATMs, as they are sometimes.

They can supervise by themselves. They can do currency swaps and open bank accounts.”

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Also on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari met with some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors at the Presidential Villa over the nara scarcity.

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Nigeria’s External Reserves Fell By $63.62m In January

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External reserves fell by $63.62 million in January, latest figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, have revealed.

The CBN revealed in its data on the movement of foreign reserves that the external reserves, which ended December 30, 2022, at $37.08 billion, fell to $37.01 billion at the end of January 30, 2023.

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Nigeria’s external reserves fell by $3.43 billion in 2022 after dropping from $40.52 billion at the end of December 31, 2021.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Youths Protest Naira, Fuel Scarcity In Oyo

Earlier, Cordros Securities, in its January report, stated that the country, through its policy, has continued to sideline foreign investors at the expense of foreign earnings.

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CBN’s FX supply to the foreign exchange market segments remained significantly below before the COVUD-19 pandemic period. Meanwhile, the demand for the greenback has increased as market players continue to source for FX to fulfil and clear their outstanding obligations,” the report said.

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Emefiele’s Cashless Policy Disastrous – Shehu Sani

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Civil rights activist and former Senator representing Kaduna Senatorial District, Shehu Sani has described the cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Godwin Emefiele as disastrous and poisonous.

Sani was reacting amid hardship being experienced in withdrawal of money by bank customers leading to queues across the country.

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In a statement he issued on Friday and sent to DAILY POST, Sani wondered how public policy should be a catastrophe to people rather than being a succour.

READ ALSO: Allow Old, New Naira Notes Coexist, APC Govs Beg Buhari

He said: “The redesigning of the National currency and the cash withdrawal policy introduced by Godwin Emefiele is an economic disaster and a poisonous idea aimed at unleashing hardships on the masses of Nigerians.

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“If the Buhari administration really wants to target the few corrupt, it doesn’t have to wait this long and it doesn’t have to impoverished punish the poor. Emefiele set a forest on fire in the name of catching a few rats.”

The ex-lawmaker posited that the apex bank has become a political institution, stating that as a developing nation, economic policies such as this would have taken the status of Nigerians into cognisance.

The CBN has become a political institution and a home for serpentine and delirious economic ideas.

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“The CBN under Emefiele has become a shrine for misery and a breeding ground for penury. It has become a republic within a republic,” he said.

He queried reasons Buhari allowed the policy at the twilight of his administration, particularly in 2019 when he recontested to stop vote buying.

“Why didn’t the Buhari administration introduce the change of currency in 2019 and waited until 2023 if the CBN policy is about curbing vote buying?

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Buhari Meets APC Governors At Villa

“Nigeria has been turned into a vast refugee camp where people queue for cash ration. Nigerians have subjected to the multiple tragedies of struggling for money, searching for money, looking for money and scratching for money.

“Nigerians used to buy Dollars at the black market, now they are also buying Naira at the black market.

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“The Ahmed Lawan led Senate has failed to checkmate the excesses and autocracy of the CBN because the leadership is in bed with it. The House of Reps have a clear and principled position on the matter”, he concluded.

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