CBN Allocates N120m New Notes to Banks in Katsina 

Francis Sardauna in Katsina

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has allocated N120 million of the new currency to four commercial banks for disbursement to residents of Katsina State through registered agents as part of efforts to ensure the availability of the new notes in the state.

The Director, Currency Operations of the CBN, Mr. Ahmed Bello-Umar, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Katsina Saturday, said the agents are supposed to collect N500,000 per week from the banks for disbursement to their communities.

He said: “We had engagement with agents, in Katsina we have agents working for about four banks, all of them we allocated the sum of over N120 million of the new currency for disbursement to those agents.

“And the agents are supposed to collect from the banks N500,000 per week to disburse in their communities. We know that there are some communities where there are no banks, and it’s difficult for people in those places to go and deposit their old currency to get the redesigned ones.”

He explained that apart from that, the nation’s apex bank has carried out additional cash swap programmes in Daura, Kurfi, Mani, Mashi and some local government areas of the state to ensure that they have given residents the new currency and collect their old notes.

He debunked the speculation that the CBN has extended the January 31 deadline, saying: “There have been appeals by people for the extension of the exercise, but as of today (Saturday), there are no new directives on the extension.”

The CBN director of currency operations warned banks agents, especially those operating Point of Sale (PoS) machines to desist from overcharging customers or face sanction from the bank.

Bello-Umar disclosed that they have embarked on a monitoring exercise, which covers checking ATM machines to ensure that the money is loaded for people to withdraw, due to the rule against cashing on a counter.

According to him, “We believe that using the ATM would give people the opportunity to have access to the money. And we are able to track the volume of disbursement that is on the ATM because there is a log on it. That can tell us how many people withdraw, and if we want to know from which account we will be able to.

“We had an engagement with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in the form of training and explaining the rationale behind the exercise, so that they can help us in all nooks and crannies of the country to enlighten the people.

“There seems to be a misunderstanding, people have been complaining that they deposited N1 million and they cannot withdraw N100,000. Yes, it is not a cash exchange exercise.”

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