New currency: CBN allocates N120m to agents for disbursement in Katsina
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has allocated over N120 million of the new currency to four banks for disbursement to people in Katsina State through some agents.
According to him, the aim of engaging the agents with the relevant licenses was to reduce the challenges of accessing the new currencies in some communities, especially the rural areas.
“We had engagement with agents, in Katsina we have agents working for about four banks, all of them we allocated the sum of over N120 million of the new currency for disbursement to those agents.
“And the agents are supposed to collect from the banks N500,000 per week to disburse in their Communities. We know that there are some communities where there are no banks.
“And it’s difficult for people in those places to go and deposit their old currency to get the redesigned ones.” the CBN director said.
He explained that apart from that, CBN has carried out additional programmes, especially going round places to ensure that they have given them the new currency and collected their old notes, especially those that have not more than N10,000 so that they can continue with their life. We learned that some people wanted to shut their shops because of the new notes, but we said they should just bear with us.
“We have spoken to the banks to open throughout the weekend, including on Sunday, to allow people to go and deposit their old notes before the deadline.
“So, there is no holiday until the end of the exercise. From now to then, if you have money you can go to your bank and change, and you can always look at the ATMs.
“We have also advised people that if they have challenges about banks, not opening or not disbursing new notes on their machines, to report them to CBN immediately so that we can send our monitoring team.
“And we assured the banks that we have money to go round for them to be able to carry out the exercise.” Bello-Umar assured the commercial banks.
He also pointed out that there have been appeals by people for the extension of the exercise, but as of today, there are no new directives on the extension, insisting that,“ the deadline still remains Jan. 31.
According to Bello-Umar, people have been advised to adhere to the deadline and deposit their old money so that they can always withdraw the new notes.
Bello-Umar disclosed that they have embarked on a monitoring exercise which covers checking ATM machines to ensure that the money is loaded for people to withdraw, due to the rule against cashing on a counter.
“We believe that using the ATM would give people the opportunity to have access to the money. And we are able to track the volume of disbursement that is on the ATM because there is a log on it.
“That can tell us how many people have withdrawn, and if we want to know from which account we will be able to.
“We had an engagement with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in the form of training and explaining the rationale behind the exercise, so that they can help us in all nooks and crannies of the country to enlighten the people.
“There seems to be a misunderstanding, people have been complaining that they deposited N1 million and they can not withdraw up to N100,000. Yes, it is not a cash exchange exercise,” according to the director.
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