New naira notes: CBN says change of currency not political

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debunked speculations that the Naira redesign is politically motivated.

According to CBN, the redesign of the currency was not politically motivated, adding it was a coincidence that it happened during the election.

The CBN team head and Deputy Director Research Department, Abuja Mr Kama Ukpai, disclosed this at Eke-Afikpo Market, Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi state during a sensitization of stakeholders on the currency redesign on Friday.

Kama, while restating that the 31 January deadline for old naira remains sacrosanct as there will be no extension, threatened to sanction any bank still dispensing old Naira notes through the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Ebonyi State.

He then urged the Public to report any bank still dispensing out the old note to customers for sanction.

His words “There is nothing political about the change of naira notes. Under normal circumstances most of the time, in currency management, it takes 5-8 years to redesign currency but because of the cost involved, in currency management, we discovered that the current age of this new naira is 15-22 years.

“It is not politically motivated, rather both of them happening at the same time is coincidence”.

However, the chairman Afikpo Market Amalgamated Association, Comrade Johnson Inya Oka, appealed for the extension of the deadline due to the insufficiency of the new naira notes.

He said: “For me, the time given as the last date is short because up till now, the banks are not dispensing the new naira notes as far as here is concerned both in the ATM. If you go to the ATM, each ₦100, 000, you get about 5 pieces of the new naira notes and that is the challenge we are having.

“We don’t have any challenge if CBN is fast to change the old money, no problem but for now, the two banks in our area are still giving us old naira both at the ATM and counter. But for me, I will advise that they extend the dates because the banks in Afikpo are not dispensing the new naira notes and even some aged people in the market here have not seen the new naira note”.

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