Buhari meets Emefiele at the Villa

President Muhammadu Buhari met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday. The meeting was the first the CBN chief has had with Buhari after his return from vacation. Emefiele emerged from the meeting without making any comments to anxious journalists who besieged him for comments on the outcome of his encounter Buhari.


Emefiele’s meeting was the second with the President yesterday, as he was part of an earlier audience granted the Arab Bank for Economic Development team that met the President in the Villa.

Emefiele returned to the country on tanuary 12 after spending his annual leave abroad. He has been in the news over allegations levied by the Department of State Security (DSS) that border on corruption and terrorism financing that are now subject of litigation.

Meanwhile, the CBN said it would query banks that dispense old notes from their Automated Teller machines. A director at the CBN and serving Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, Dr. Abdullahi Abubakar Kure, handed down the warning in Abuja yesterday when he led a team of CBN officials on an unscheduled visit to banks in Abuja.

At Guaranty Trust Bank on Adetokunbo Ademola Wuse 2 Abuja, the team withdrew old cash from all the ATM machines on the premises. The story was different at Access Bank also on Adetokunbo Ademola where an ATM dispensed new notes.

After the exercise, Kure said the CBN would query banks found hoarding and or diverting the new notes and dispensing old cash.

He said the CBN has enough “stock of cash to meet the requests of banks,” adding that “a final decision will be taken after the unscheduled visits end on Friday”.

Kure noted that the CBN will go through its “record to ascertain the quantity of new notes given to banks found to be dispensing old notes via ATM. Where we detect any infractions, such banks would be sanctioned,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to return old notes in their possession through established channels in return for the new ones.

The CBN had on Monday directed all banks to dispense only new notes from their ATMs.

The team had earlier visited the Ona of Abaji and Chairman FCT Council of traditional rulers, His Royal Highnesses Dr. Adamu Baba Yunusa and the Director, International Centre for Islamic Culture and Education/Custodian of Alnoor mosque in Abuja Dr. Kabir Usman to get their buy-in into the currency redesign and cashless policy.

Kure pleaded with the traditional and religious leaders to help the CBN sensitise their followers on the importance of changing their old notes and accepting the new ones.

“We are taking this message to all nooks and crannies of the FCT. We are here to solicit your support to help us convey the messages to your subjects”, he told the Ona of Abaji.

Responding, His Royal Highness Dr. Baba Yunusa pledged to convey the CBN’s message to his people, and commended the CBN team for the visit.

In Jos, Plateau State, officials of the CBN on yesterday stormed the Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) of commercial banks to enforce the dispense of the newly redesigned naira notes to customers.

The CBN team led by the Director Payment System Management Department, Musa Jimoh, went round some banks along Beach road and the Murtala Muhammed Way to monitor the machines as customers were being paid to confirm if they were being paid with the new notes.

The team later moved to the building material market in Jos South local government area of the State to sensitized stakeholders on the redesigned notes as well as the deadline for the use of the old notes.

He explained the CBN has provided enough new notes currency to all commercial banks in the state “and we ordered them not to load old currency in the ATMs any more”.

According to him: “We made a very good arrangement for quick supply of the redesign currency to all the bank branches across the 17 local government areas.”

He also advised members of the public and traders to accept the old notes, which are ” still valid till January, 31st. saying, l assure you not to panic, the currency is safe and valid for now.

“There is no limit to how much a customer can deposit between now and January 31, 2023, as CBN has suspended bank charges”.

Musa called on banks not to hoard the new redesign notes warning that any bank caught defaulting would be sanctioned.

He also urged the public to explore other payment channels, such as eNaira, POS, electronic transfer, USSD, internet banking and mobile money operators and agents for their economic activities.

Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari has urged the CBN to make the redesign of the country’s currency a five yearly policy as it is the best practice across the globe.

This according to the monarch, would guide against counterfeiting of the notes by fraudsters.

The first class monarch hailed the CBN on its policy of the redesign of the N200, N500 and N1000 denominations.

Alhaji Sulu-Gambari urged the apex bank not to be distracted by criticisms of some Nigerians that the new currency is fake.

The emir said this in Ilorin, the state capital when some commercial bank managers in the state led by Ilorin branch Controller, CBN, Lamidi O Najim were in the palace on a sensitisation visit of the January 31st expiration date of the old naira notes.

The bankers took the sensitisation to some markets and streets distributing leaflets in the Ilorin metropolis.

The monarch promised to relay the message to all the monarchs in the state for onward transmission to their various subjects.

Speaking with reporters, Mr. Najim said that the January 31st 2023 deadline for the cessation of the old notes is sacrosanct, adding that “CBN will not extend the date.”

The controller restated that about 85 per cent of the currency in circulation is not n the vaults of banks.

Said he: “There is need for us to know how much money is in circulation. We are on this sensitisation because we want many people in the state to know about this new currency notes; to make sure they accept it and to ensure that those that have the old currency notes, deposit them in their banks and collect new ones.

“It is also the standard practice for a country to change its currency every five and eight years to avoid counterfeiting and to strengthen the security features of the currency.

“Those that are in the rural areas are encouraged to go to the nearest banks in their local government areas and deposit the old notes. We also have agents in the villages that can assist them change the money.”

On the none availability of the notes, the bank chief hinted that “we have encouraged commercial banks to put the new naira notes on their automated teller machines (ATMs).

“We have also encouraged them to calibrate the ATMs to dispense N200 notes. We have equally encouraged point of sale (POS) operators to collect lower denomination of N200 so that it can be available to the mass of people.”

Officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria are set to storm Akure, the Ondo State capital to stop further issuance of old naira notes of N200, N500 and N1000 denominations by banks.

 

The officials are to search Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in the state to ascertain if commercial banks were still loading in the old notes.

Acting Controller of CBN, Akure branch, Samuel Ademola Giwa, who made this known in a chat with journalists in Akure said it was part of the move to ensure the newly redesigned notes were in circulation in Ondo State.

Giwa appealed to residents in the state to continue to accept the old naira notes of N200, N500 and N1000 until January 31 when the notes would stopped being legal tender.

His words, “We are here to sensitise the public on the new redesigned bank notes.

“We want the public to familiarise themselves with the new notes.

Old notes will remain legal tender till January 31, 2023. No limit to how much can be deposited. Accept the new notes and use it.

“We advise members of the public to ensure that they deposit cash holdings in these denominations at their commercial banks. The CBN has susended bank charges. Accept the new notes, use it and respect it as our national symbol.”

In Bauchi, cattle dealers and herders have pleaded with the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the deadline for old naira notes to cease being legal tender.

The Chairman of the Mararraban Liman Katagum Cattle Dealers, Hashimu Isah made the plea in an interview with journalists on during an awareness on the new Naira Notes and the cashless policy by the CBN in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

He complained about the spate of fraudulent activities by Point of Sale Operators (POS) following the introduction of the new notes and the cashless policy by the CBN.

He said many fraudulent POS operators have infiltrated markets with fake naira notes.

According to him, this has put fear in the minds of the rural Fulani people with most of them shunning the cashless policy, and instead insisting on cash transactions.

Alhaji Isah added that the development has led to their customers who are mostly rural dwellers rejecting the new naira notes due to the perception that they are fake.

“We solicit CBN to consider sending their agents to the market to enable our customer’s open bank accounts and thus embrace the cashless policy of the apex bank.

“Previously, some commercial banks came with a proposal to set up an agentry here but we rejected the idea suspecting that it is a Ponzi scheme to dupe them but if it were CBN, they will not hesitate a moment to accept it,” he said.

“We’re pleading with the CBN to increase the window for using the old Naira Notes as legal tender to avoid loss of billions of naira among the herdsmen.”

Earlier In his remarks, the Director National Orientation Agency (NOA) Bauchi office, Nuru Yusuf Kobi said the recently introduced cashless economy of the Central Bank of Nigeria will end the spate of kidnappings, armed robberies,y and other forms of insecurity in the country.

He said the limited flow of cash among people gives impetus to Kidnappings as suspected kidnappers easily request ransom as a condition for the release of their victims.

“With this cashless policy, kidnappers will have no money hence the safety and security of the citizens in their communities.

“We encourage you to take old Naira Notes to banks. It is free. It is not an exchange because when you take the notes to banks, you will not be given new Naira Notes.

“The idea is to reduce the circulation of currency in the population thus putting an end to it because your money is safe in the bank,”

He said further that the CBN has ransacked the Automatic Transaction Machine (ATMs) of commercial banks to enforce the newly redesigned naira notes.

In Umuahia, the CBN warned that it was going to sanction commercial banks that failed to begin dispensing the new redesigned naira notes through their Automated Teller Machines (ATM) henceforth.

The CBN Director of Cooperate Communication, Mr. Osita Nwanisiobi who stated this in Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State during the sensitization of traders of Ariaria International Market on the newly designed notes frowned at the attitude of some commercial banks in the state who have failed to dispense the new notes through their ATMs.

Nwanisiobi who warned against the continued abuse of the naira notes said that they would not hesitate to prosecute those caught abusing the naira notes henceforth.

The CBN Director of Communication who decried hoarding of cash by some fee individuals disclosed that out of N3.26 trillion in circulation, N2.76 trillion is in the hands of individuals.

On the bleaching of the new notes, Nwanisiobi said that there was nothing to fear about, adding that it was part of the security features to ensuring that they check against faking of the notes.

Informing the traders and general public that the January 31 deadline for the phasing out of the old notes was still sacrosanct, the Communication Director said that they are going to embark on massive push of the new notes into the market, adding that it is the responsibility of the banks to ensure that the redesigned notes get to every Nigerian.

He said that the reason of their visit to Ariaria International Market was part of the CBN campaign strategies to sensitize traders and the general public on the redesigned notes and to further affirm the decision of the country’s apex bank to phase out the old notes by January 31, adding that the CBN has about N1.4million agents across the country that will help other financial institutions in ensuring a seamless mopping up of the old notes before the deadline.

Chairman of Ariaria International Market, Elder Emeka Igara thanked the CBN and the federal government for their initiative and stated that the awareness exercise has gone a long in clearing some of the fears being entertained by the traders and customers about the new notes.

The CBN warned in Lafia, Nasarawa State, that commercial banks still dispensing old naira notes will be sanctioned.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefile revealed this through the bank’s Director of Security Services, Atiku Mohammed yesterday in Lafia during a one day sensitisation meeting with traders in Lafia on the re-designed new naira notes.

Speaking shortly after visiting some commercial banks to monitor how they are dispensing the new notes, said “we visited a number of banks to ascertain and see for ourselves how they are dispensing the re-designed currencies.

“A number of banks complied and we have some that didn’t comply, there are some that are doing a mixture of old and new ones, those banks that are not complying will definitely be penalised”

Some of the banks visited in Lafia includes Access Bank, UBA, FCMB, First Bank, Fidelity Bank and GTB. The deputy branch manager of Zenith Bank, Lafia branch who was on sit still dispensing old naira notes when the CBN officials visited fled away to escape arrest.

Speaking with traders at the Lafia ultra modern international market, the CBN director of security services called on residents, market women to rejects old naira notes issues to them from any bank henceforth.

“When you go to any bank and you are issued the old two hundred, five and one thousand naira notes, do not collect because you will be collecting tissue paper that will not be acceptable from 31st of January 2023.

” we will sanction any bank in Nasarawa state and else where that is found guilty of despensing the old naira notes at ATMs or counter to customers.

“The central bank has supplied adequate new naira notes to the various banks, nobody should collect the old naira notes again. If any bank issue you old naira note, report the bank to the CBN”

The CBN boss insisted that despite appeal by some traders calling for extension of time, that there will be no extension of the fixed date to face out the old naira notes.

The CBN officials recieved complaints from traders and the market women, such as rejection of new naira notes by some customers, banks still dispensing old naira notes to them etc.


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