The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will monitor the Commercial Banks in Nigeria to guarantee they load the new Naira notes into their ATMs per the CBN’s directive.
The CBN’s Director of Currency Operations, Mr Ahmed Umar, announced this on Monday in Abuja at a training session for state directors of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on redesigning currency notes policy.
Umar stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria had issued an order to withdraw obsolete naira notes from circulation by January 31.
“We want to use this training session to pass the message that CBN has enough currency notes to go around to the general public.
“We, CBN management, have mandated banks to stop putting old notes in their ATMs. Only the newer bills should be used.
“And there is the serialisation of the policy that they can put either N500, N1000 or N200 note whichever the denomination they have or combination of any of those notes, they should just put a new note in their machines.
“We are going to monitor to ensure that the banks comply and if they don’t, we have a penalty for non-compliance,” the director of Apex Bank stated.
He says it takes a few years for many countries to update the appearance of their banknotes.
In our case, we had over 20 years of having the same design of the note.
“Over that period, what it did to us was to create an avenue for some people to master the act of counterfeiting the note.”
“In our case, we have a minimum of 17 years or more to redesign our currency.
“If you notice the N1000 note that was introduced in 2005, it took 17 years for us to redesign it. N500 and N200 notes were redesigned after 21 and 22 years, respectively.
“So, if currency notes stay too long in the system, there is a tendency for counterfeit people to make a lot of efforts to produce the same notes.
“So, that is why there is a need to change our notes regularly.”
Also, he claims that 99.99 per cent of counterfeiters go after N500 and N1000 notes.
“It is simple logic, the effort you put into counterfeit N1000 is the same effort you put into counterfeit N500.
“So, why will they waste their energy doing small notes; they always target the higher note particularly N1000 because of the values attach to it,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Garba Abari, NOA’s Director-General, stated that the organisation collaborated with the CBN to train NOA employees in 774 LGAs so that they could better inform Nigerians about the new banknotes policy.
Abari said she hoped the training would go a long way toward clearing up confusion about the new currency notes policy.
He urged everyone there to take the training seriously to represent CBN when they effectively began their grassroots enlightenment efforts.