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Rural Dwellers Most Affected by Poor Implementation of Currency Swap, Public Complaints Commission Official
By Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti
The Public Complaints Commission (PCC), has expressed displeasure over the lopsided distribution of the new notes in Ekiti State.
Decrying how the rural dwellers have been seriously affected by what he described as poor implementation of the naira redesigned policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the PCC Federal Commissioner representing Ekiti State, Hon. Kayode Bamisile, said the distribution was lopsided and not fully implemented in the state.
According to him, going by the barrage of complaints that had been received and verified by the commission, “I don’t think the directive is being implemented fully here in Ekiti state. In certain cases, some of the ATMs are not working.
Bamisile also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for intensifying efforts to ensure intending voters collect their PVCs ahead of forthcoming general elections.
The PCC boss who spoke, at the weekend , in Ado Ekiti, pointed out that the commission has been monitoring the process closely in the state, since the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele gave directive for the distribution of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes.
Bamisile said ;”Our team led by the Director of investigation, went to all banks in Ado Ekiti and other local government areas, where we have our offices, to ensure that bank customers have access to the new naira notes and the CBN’s directive adhered to. We also met with the state CBN branch manager.
“Actually, there were challenges, most of the banks visited were giving out both new and old naira notes to their customers, but the complaints is that, Automated Teller Machines (ATM) mostly dispense old notes, even same is the situation in the banking hall.
“Even complaints from the banks is that they don’t have sufficient new naira notes to give out to customers. Part of our responsibility in PCC is to ensure that no citizen is deprived of his or her right. We will continue to monitor the situation in the state till January 31 to ensure the people have access to the new naira note”.
The commissioner, who noted that the people in the local areas and hinterlands of the state are seriously being affected, urged CBN to intensify sensitisation on the new naira notes and the withdrawal of the old notes especially at the grassroots.
“I know of two local government areas where there is no bank. They have to travel to another council area to do all their bank transactions. We have farmers and members of cooperative societies here.
“Sensitisation is necessary here so that we will have a situation whereby an informed person will be left with loads of the old naira notes after the expiration of the deadline on January 31”.
On the insinuations that some people are hoarding the new naira notes, he said, “It is possible but we never had such complaints or report.
“But it behoves on CBN and important for them to keep monitoring the movement of the naira notes and ensure that they are not being kept in the vaults for such reasons as the deadline date draws closer”.
Speaking on the demand that the deadline should be extended, Bamisile said, ” We are aware that the National Assembly is on it, but we can’t take a direct position on that, ours is to ensure that citizens are not deprived of the right to access the money. All the the complaints received have been passed to the CBN for action”.
On the PVCs collection, the PCC boss said major complaints were the missing names on the the list, inability to retrieve cards and their names listed in another ward’s voters register.
He, however, said that the electoral body is doing its best to address the situation. “The feedback we got was that INEC is working hard to ensure that everybody gets its PVC”.