The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied scarcity of the new naira notes, as alleged by some Nigerians.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, represented by Musa Jimoh, Director, Payment System Management Department of the bank, denied the allegation in a news conference in Jos.
”The CBN has massively supplied the new notes to commercial banks to dispense both at counters and ATMs.
”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,” he said
Emefiele advised citizens to deposit their old notes at any commercial bank and acquire new ones with immediate effect, insisting that the January 31 deadline remained sacrosanct.
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 that 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 incidences 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
He advised that faulty currencies be returned to banks for replacements and cautioned people entertaining the thought that the CBN might extend the deadline to desist as they could face losses.