Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has continued to intensify its campaign aimed at creating a knowledgeable customer base for financial institutions.
The move was to engender seamless banking services.
To this end, the central bank recently organised the CBN Fair, a two-day event where the general public were educated on the various programmes and policies of the CBN and how they could key in and enjoy the derivable benefits.
The sensitisation campaign packaged by the corporate affairs department of the CBN centred around initiatives that most people knew little or nothing about. They included real sector financing, payment systems, consumer rights and responsibilities, bank verification number (BVN), financial inclusion, agricultural financing, as well as micro. small and medium enterprises financing.
The CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, said the Bank was desirous of creating appropriate and people-centred policies to spur economic growth in Nigeria.
“We (CBN) have done enough and we will continue to do more to enhance the economy of the nation,” he said, adding that the fair with the theme ‘Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development,’ was in tandem with the mandate of the apex financial institution.
Okoroafor, who was represented by the CBN team leader at the fair, Mr. Sam Okogbuo, Assistant Director, Public Communications, said giving people knowledge was akin to making them rich.
“If you have knowledge you have wealth,” he said, noting that by explaining its programmes and services people would gain the needed knowledge to grow rich and escape from poverty.”
The CBN spokesman pointed out that the policies and programmes rolled out by the apex bank were already having positive effects on the economy, citing the rise in agricultural productions.
According to him, the initiative of identifying 41 products for local production backed up with appropriate incentives such as the Anchor Borrowers programme has led to exponential growth in rice production.
He urged Nigerians to embrace banking, saying it not only enables one to imbibe the culture of saving, but also makes it easier for accounts holders to access loans from commercial and specialised banks. CBN officials were on hand to explain the various aspects of the apex bank’s programmes and policies and their implications for economic growth.
The senior manager, Currency Operations, Ngozi Eze, who spoke on the clean note policy of CBN, said the naira represents the nation’s symbol and pride hence Nigerians must cultivate the attitude of not abusing the currency notes.
She warned people against spraying naira at ceremonies and trampling on the currency notes, saying that such practice constituted a serious offence which attracts N50,000 fine or six months imprisonment or both on conviction by court.
Eze, made members of the public to understand that counterfeiting of the naira amounted to economic sabotage, saying that the CBN “is mad at people counterfeiting naira.”
However, the senior manager currency operations assured that CBN was always on the alert to checkmate currency forgers, adding that the apex bank has built in security features in the naira to prevent counterfeiting.
Also, the Senior Manager Payment System, Mr. Nnanna Chukwu, urged people to embrace the cashless policy of the CBN, noting that alternative banking channels have made money transfer and payments for goods and services easy. He disabused the minds of the people on their fears and misgivings about the cashless regime, saying it remains a safe means of business transactions.