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CBN threatens to sanction Banks dispensing old Naira notes

By KENNETH ONYEKWERE, ABAKALIKI

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned that any commercial bank found dispensing old Naira notes through Automated Teller machines (ATMs) would be sanctioned.

This was made known at a sensitization programme organised for Stakeholders on the Currency Redesign at Eke-Afikpo, Afikpo North local Government area of Ebonyi state, Team head and Deputy Director, Research Department of CBN, Abuja, Mr Kama Ukpai noted that the January 31, 2023, deadline for circulation of the old naira notes remains unchanged.

According to him, “we are in Abakaliki. There are 14 commercial Banks. Out of the 14 Banks, 13 were dispensing new naira notes from ATMs. CBN will also sanction any Bank that is dispensing old naira notes through ATMs”.

Speaking at the event, Ebonyi State Branch Controller of CBN, Mr Daniel Amaechi Ogbogu explained that Banks have been asked to come and pick up new naira notes from the apex bank.

Ogbogu noted that the redesign of the currency was not politically motivated, adding it was a coincidence that it was happening during the election period.

“Since the beginning of this week, we have tried to ensure that the new naira notes are in all the banks in Ebonyi state. We have been doing routine checks, checking all the ATMs to ensure that this new naira is being dispensed by the various ATMs in the various banks”.

“We have also sent a team to go round and ensure that all ATMs are dispensing. From the report, we got about 95 percent of ATMs are dispensing the new naira and those ones that are not dispensing, we have given them an ultimatum to ensure that we don’t want to come to the ATM and see that they are still dispensing old naira. For us in Ebonyi state I think is a successful one.

“We have asked banks to come and pick up the new naira notes from the CBN. I also want the public to know that if you go to any ATM and they are dispensing old notes, report them to us because we have asked the banks to ensure that all their ATMs dispense new naira notes and any banks that give out old naira will be penalized to ensure that no old ATM is dispensing old naira note.

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The chairman, Afikpo Market Almagamated Association, Comrade Johnson Inya Oka appealed for the extension of the deadline due to insufficiency of the new naira notes.

He said: “For me, the time given as the last date is short because up till now, the banks are not dispensing the new naira notes as far as here is concerned both in the ATM. If you go to the ATM, each ₦100, 000, you get about 5 pieces of the new naira notes and that is the challenge we are having.

“We don’t have any challenge if CBN is fast to change the old money, no problem but for now, the two banks in our area are still giving us old naira both at the ATM and counter.

“But for me, I will advise that they extend the dates because the banks in Afikpo are not dispensing the new naira notes and even some aged people in the market here have not seen the new naira note”.

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