The Katsina Branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has allocated N120 million to bank agents in Katsina State.
The aim was to ensure easy cash swap from old to new currency for people with ten thousand Naira and below. This commitment is coming as the CBN’s January 31 2023 deadline on the use of old Naira notes draws closer.
CBN’s Director of Currency Operations, Ahmed Bello Umar, who is in Katsina to supervise an ad-hoc team, disclosed on Saturday said the apex bank has set out teams to monitor the disbursement of new currency notes across the federation.
He explained that the monitoring exercise entrails checking ATMs to ensure that the money is loaded for people to withdraw. According to him, the ATM will give people the opportunity to have access to money. He said the monitoring team in Katsina tracked the volume of disbursement that is not on the ATM.
Umar, however, called on people to report to the CBN immediately whenever they come across any bank not opening or not disbursing the new currency notes on its ATM for disciplinary actions.
“We had an engagement with bank agents in Katsina State; we have agents for four banks where we allocated the sum of N120 million for disbursement,” he said.
“The agents are supposed to collect N500,000 per week to disburse in their communities where they have a shortage of banks. We have also carried out an additional cash swap program by going to places like Daura, Kurfi, Mani, and Mashi Local Government Areas of Katsina State.
“Today, the team is out covering other LGAs, particularly for people having ten (10) thousand Naira and below. It’s a continuous exercise. We have realized that some people want to shut down their shops and their businesses.
“You are all aware that banks have been ordered across the federation to open today Saturday and tomorrow Sunday. So, there is no holiday until the end of the exercise. We are calling on people if they have any challenges about banks not opening or disbursing new currency on their machines, they should report to the Central Bank immediately so that we will send our monitoring teams to the place. We have assured banks that CBN has the money to carry out the exercise
“There are appeals by people from different spectrums of society calling for an extension. But as of today, there is no new directive on the extension, the deadline still remains 31 January 2023.
“We are advising people to adhere to the deadline and deposit their old currency notes into the Bank. For complaints, people should send us an email to the following mail: [email protected].”
READ ALSO: January 31 Deadline For Old Naira Notes Remains, CBN Insists
‘We Couldn’t Get the New Currency’
In the meantime, residents of Katsina State are appealing to the CBN and relevant stakeholders to consider their flight regarding the difficulties in swapping old Naira notes for the new currency.
Two of the residents who were interviewed by Channels Television described the level of hardship situation as alarming.
“I am from Kankia LGA, we spent the night here, we left our business and families at home yet we couldn’t get the new currency,” Aminu Muhammad said. “It’s high time for the CBN and relevant authorities to take action please”.
For 27-year-old Umar Abdullahi, “the problem we are facing here is that we are following the directives of the CBN on the cash swap policy but the bank does not have the money available for us to swap.
“We have been here since yesterday and if you collect the number, they will say it’s expired. This happens continuously. They don’t allow us to use our old currency and the cash swap is not possible from the look of things.
“What we want now is that let the authorities concerned make the new currency available for us before the deadline so that we will not lose our hard-earned money. We want the new currency to be available so that we will go back to our respective destinations. So, that we will not go back empty”.
Channels Television reported Thursday that the CBN sensitised traders and relevant stakeholders in the famous Katsina Central Market on the economic benefits of the newly- redesigned N200, N500, and N100 Naira notes.
During the sensitisation Umar explained that the exercise which is taking place across the Federation would bring the hoarded currency notes into the banking system, thereby making monetary policy more effective.