BusinessDay

Naira redesign: new era is now cashless says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday said the new era of transactions is now cashless, as it is working to get everybody on-board.

To further promote the initiative, the apex bank said it is introducing a lot of cashless platforms, incentives, and more.

“Though it is going to be gradual but that is the focus,” Josephine Kehinde Ajala, deputy director of banking services department of the CBN, said during a sensitisation exercise on the new naira notes by the CBN at the Asejere market in Makoko area of Lagos.

“We are going to encourage people more to get away from cash. So the central bank ideally wants to reduce the amount of cash that we use. If you go to countries like some other African countries, they don’t have a lot of cash, most of them are digital,” she said.

She said the CBN has commenced the audits of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) across the country in a bid to monitor banks’ compliance with the directive to dispense new notes via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

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“Right now as we speak, I doubt if there is any ATM that is dispensing any old notes. All efforts have been made to dispense the new notes. So surely, by the January 31, there cannot be any ATM machine that will dispense old notes said.

According to her, the deadline remains sacrosanct and that the CBN would continue to accelerate its sensitisation across Nigeria.

“We just realised that probably people just want to be, collecting or getting N1000 notes. The banks have been instructed that all the denominations that were given must be dispensed. We are doing a lot of audits on them. We’re following up seriously on them to trace and ensure that whatever we give them must reach the grassroots. So, all the denominations will get to the ATM and they should be in the ATMs,” Ajala said.

Speaking during the exercise, Memud Iyabo Ajoke, assistant Iyaloja of Asejere market, said traders in the market have been informed of the redesign of the currency and have been told to start rejecting the old notes from Saturday, January 28, 2023, three days to the deadline.

She said this was to ensure that they do not have the old notes with them by Tuesday, January 31 which is the deadline for phasing out old notes.