Naira redesign: CBN directs banks to accept deposits beyond cashless policy limit
As part of efforts to ensure full compliance with the Naira redesign deadline, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to accept cash deposits beyond cashless policy threshold.
Osita Nwanisobi, director, corporate communications department of the CBN disclosed this on Thursday on the occasion of the CBN’s special day at the ongoing 2022 Lagos international trade fair.
“While Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have been directed to immediately start returning the existing currencies to the CBN, they have also been instructed to receive the existing banknotes beyond the threshold stipulated by the Cashless Policy without charge to customers,” he said.
The CBN cashless policy stipulates a daily cumulative limit of N500, 000 and N3, 000,000 withdrawals and lodgments by individual and corporate customers respectively, without charges.
Nigeria’s Central Bank recently announced the redesign, production, release, and circulation of new series of three banknotes out of the existing eight banknotes, comprising N200, N500, and N1000 denominations, respectively, effective December 15, 2022; after its launch by President Muhammad Buhari.
Represented by Samuel Okogbue, deputy director, corporate communications department, he said the new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023,
He noted that the eNaira has recorded over 700,000 transactions worth about N8 billion within its first year (October 2022).
According to him 33 banks have been fully integrated and live on the platform. In addition to the foregoing, over 1.0 million customers have been onboarded while over 3,305 merchants have successfully registered on the eNaira platform across the country.
Nwanisobi said the theme of the fair, which is Connecting Businesses, Creating Value’, is in line with the Central Bank’s strategy of consistently creating enabling policies that drive economic activities, job creation, increased productivity, and contribute to sustainable inclusive economic growth andd evelopment of the country.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to demonstrate unwavering commitment to supporting a productive economy and prudent management of the country’s vast resources as that is the only panacea to reaching Nigeria’s desired economic destination,” the director said.
Explaining the reasons for the Naira redesign, Amina Abdulmalik, deputy director, currency operations department, CBN,said counterfeiting and hoarding were the reasons for redesigning and introducing new banknotes.
“We have a huge challenge of counterfeiting; Nigerians have set up factories and are just churning out bank notes because those banknotes do not come back into the banking system.
“We are not able to fish out the counterfeits; and most central banks in the world redesign when they see the level of counterfeits growing. But if you don’t have confidence in your bank notes then there’s a problem,” she said.
In his welcome remarks, Michael Olawale-Cole, president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), appealed to the CBN to adopt more innovative ways, establish appropriate policies, and take actions that will drive down inflation rate and strengthen the value of Naira.
As regards issuance of new Naira notes, he said the CBN should also consider converting the country’s lower currency notes into coins to facilitate highly repetitive retail transactions and to avoid printing pieces of low-value notes with a short lifespan.