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We’ve enough new currencies to give banks, CBN tells Katsina traders

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, says it has enough redesigned naira notes to give commercial banks, calling on traders and the general public to return the old notes before the Jan. 31 deadline.

Godwin Emefele, the CBN Governor, said this on Thursday at Katsina Central Market during an enlightenment campaign on the need for traders to deposit their old notes before the deadline.

Represented by the Director, Currency Operations of the CBN, Ahmed Bello-Umar, Mr Emefele said the campaign was aimed to enlighten the traders on reasons for redesigning the notes.

According to him, the old notes are phased out for a variety of reasons, including shortage of clean and fit bank notes, counterfeiting, high cost of cash management and abuse of the Naira.

He added that the aim was also to hear from them on the challenges they have been facing since the redesigning of some naira notes and while depositing the old ones.

Mr Emefele further pointed out that their visit to the state was to ensure that as from last Friday, no ATM machine was expected to pay the old Naira notes, and urged the traders to accept the new ones.

“You will see our people going round checking the ATM machines, anywhere we found them paying the old notes, we are going to ask them the reason, in spite of the directive.

“If their reason was lack of funds, we have enough money to give them. The reason for the redesign of the notes was that about 85 per cent of the money we have in Nigeria are not in the banks.

“Those money are there in the hands of people in their shops, houses or any other places where they are hiding them instead of being in circulation.

“If you have N100, and you want to buy foodstuffs, but N85 is not available in your hand, but in someone’s hand. I don’t think when you go to the market you will be able to buy what you want to buy with what you have in hand.

“So it’s with the CBN, in preparing projects that are of beneficial to the public, 85 per cent of the money, amounting to about N2.7 trillion are not available.” he said.

He explained that if the money was in the hands of people, banks could be able to give out loans and industries would be established and people would be assisted to boost their businesses.

According to him, if such an amount of money is hidden somewhere else without going circulation, it will not be beneficial to the public, saying such is affecting the economy of the country.

Mukhtar Lawal, the Deputy Director of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, in Katsina, said the agency would begin a nationwide campaign on the issue.

He said that NOA was expected to go round all the 34 Local Government Areas, LGAs, in the state, including the frontline areas, to enlighten the public on the consequences of hiding the money somewhere else instead of taking it to the bank.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Katsina Central Market, Abbas Labaran, commended the effort, adding that it was a welcome development.

According to him, the enlightenment campaign will go a long way in encouraging and awakening the traders to go and deposit their money before the expiration of the deadline.

NAN

 

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