CBN visits banks, markets to enforce compliance in Bayelsa
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has visited 17 banks and Swali Ultra Modern Market in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital, to enforce the circulation and acceptance of the redesigned Naira Notes which will phase out the old N1000, N500 and N200 notes that would expire on the 31st January 2023.
Speaking shortly after the tour of banks and sensitisation at Swali market, Mr Francis Asuquo, the Branch Controller, CBN Yenagoa, cautioned banks to pay with the new Naira notes or be sanctioned and encouraged traders to ensure that they deposit all their old Naira notes in the bank before the January 31 deadline.
During the tour of banks, Nigerian Tribune gathered that all the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) belonging to the 17 banks across Yenagoa have started dispensing the new Naira notes.
While at the Swali market, he urged traders to accept the new bills because it is a legal tender and that they should embrace the culture of cashless policy, by getting used to all the channels of electronic transaction such as the ATM, Point Of Sale (POS) machines, USSD/APP mobile transfer and others.
The Branch Controller said it’s about 15 years now since the naira was last redesigned, stating that it is a jailable offense to abuse the Naira note, either folding it, or throwing it in the air during an occasion, amongst others.
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He said that “the policy to redesign the Naira note is the best that has happened to the economy of Nigeria. We know that Bayelsa people always prefer to have money in their pockets.
“We want you to imbibe the usage of the new naira note, and discourage carrying around cash because it is very risky to withdraw huge amounts of money, which may attract robbery or kidnapping.
“The usage of old note will end by January 31, 2023 and the new notes will be in use and any bank that dispense old note will be sanctioned.” He said.
He urged the public to stop abusing the naira notes, that there is a task force to prosecute offenders that abuse naira notes, and a #50,000 fine or the person risks going to jail or both.
Asuquo, said that one of the rationales behind the new note is the large volume of bank notes being hoarded by the public, which has led to a shortage of clean and fit bank notes.
On her part, Mrs Mildred Egele, the officer In charge of Swali Altra Modern Market, from the Ministry of Trade and Investment, commended the CBN for the sensitization exercise.
She urged the traders to make good use of the opportunity to deposit their old naira notes, and start accepting the new note, which is now in circulation.
Egele said it is a welcomed development and that she will ensure that all the traders in Swali Altra Modern Market adhere to the new rules.
Mr. Samuel Obinna, a trader at the Swali Altra Modern Market, commended the CBN for the enlightenment, that they will ensure that they will adhere to the rules.
He promised that various unions are happy for having them around to educate them on the importance of the naira notes, and the importance of it for the general public.