As the January 31 deadline for the phasing out of the old 200,500 and 1,000 Naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has commenced fresh initiatives for the underserved communities to give citizens living in rural communities to have access to the new notes. The initiative begins today 23 January 2023. The development was disclosed
As the January 31 deadline for the phasing out of the old 200,500 and 1,000 Naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has commenced fresh initiatives for the underserved communities to give citizens living in rural communities to have access to the new notes. The initiative begins today 23 January 2023.
The development was disclosed in a circular signed by the CBN Director, banking supervision and Director of Payment system management to all Deposit Money Banks(DMBs), Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), Super Agents and Agents titled “Naira redesign policy; CBN launches cash swap programme in rural and underserved areas”.
The cash swap programme was launched by the apex bank to enforce speedy collection of the new notes and to ensure fairness, transparency and even spread of the new notes across the country before the stipulated deadline.
According to the circular, CBN noted that the centres will be taking the old new N1000, N500, and N200 notes in exchange for the lower denominations which are still existing as legal tenders. Also, the swap centres will enhance the citizens in rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial services to exchange old Naira notes for redesigned notes.
The circular fully reads “In furtherance of its Naira Redesign policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sustained its nationwide awareness/sensitization programmes, enforced speedy collection of the new notes at CBN branches by the Deposit Money Banks (DMBS) and mandated issuance of the new notes through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to ensure distribution is fair, transparent and evenly spread across the country.
“In addition to these measures and in recognition of the need to maximise the channels through which underserved and rural communities can exchange their Naira, the Bank is launching a cash swap programme in partnership with Super Agents & DMBS. The programme enables citizens in rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial services to exchange old Naira notes for redesigned notes.
“The initiative takes effect from Monday, January 23, 2023, as follows:The old N1000, N500, and N200 notes can be exchanged for the newly redesigned notes and/or the existing lower denominations (N100, N50 and N20, etc) which remain legal tender.
“The agent shall exchange a maximum of N10,000 per person. Amounts above N10,000 may be treated as a cash-in deposit into wallets or bank accounts in line with the cashless policy. BVN, NIN, or Voter’s card details of the customers should be captured as much as possible.
“To promote financial inclusion, this service is also available to anybody without a bank account. Agents may, on request instantly open a wallet or account, leveraging the CBN Tiered KYC Framework. This will ensure that this category of the populace are able to exchange or deposit their cash seamlessly without taking unnecessary risk or incurring undue cost.
“Agents shall sensitize customers on opening wallets/ bank accounts and the various channels for conducting electronic transactions. Designated agents are eligible to collect the redesigned notes from DMBS in line with the Revised Cash Withdrawal Limit policy. Agents are also permitted to charge cash-out fees for the cash swap transactions but are prohibited from charging any further commissions to customers for this service.
“Agents shall render weekly returns to their designated banks regarding the cash swap transactions. DMBS shall in turn render the same to the CBN on a weekly basis. Principals (Super Agents, MMOs, DMBS) shall be held accountable for their agents’ adherence to the above guidelines.
“Cash Swap agents will be readily identifiable in all local governments, particularly those in the rural areas. The CBN will continue to monitor the implementation of the programme and provide further guidance as may be necessary.