The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is to launch a Cash Swap Programme in partnership with Super Agents and Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, to enable rural dwellers and those with limited access to formal financial services to exchange old Naira notes for the redesigned notes.
Director, Financial Markets Department of the Bank, Dr. Angela Sere-Ejembi made this known at the weekend when she led a team to the popular Modern Market and North Bank Market all in Makurdi to sensitise traders and their customers on the redesigned Naira notes and the urgent need to return the old notes to commercial banks for new ones.
Represented by Mr. Demenongu Yanfa, a Deputy Director in the Bank, Dr. Sere-Ejembi disclosed that the Cash Swap Programme would take effect from Monday, January 23, 2023.
She said the initiative was part of a concerted effort by the apex bank to maximise the channels through which underserved and rural communities could speedily exchange their old Naira notes.
Giving an insight into the swap process, Dr. Sere-Ejembi explained that “the old N1000, N500, 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 N 10,000 per person. Amounts above N 10,000 may be treated as 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.
“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 Know Your Customer, 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. The 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 cashout fees for the cash swap transactions but prohibited from charging any further commissions to customers for this service.”
According to her “Agents shall render weekly returns to their designated banks regarding the cash swap transactions. DMBs shall in tum render same to the CBN on a weekly basis.”
She said, “Principals (Super Agents, MMOs, DMBs) shall be held accountable for their agents adherence to the above guidelines.
“The Cash Swap agents will be readily identifiable in all local governments, particularly those in the rural areas and the CBN will continue to monitor implementation of the programme and provide further guidance as may be necessary.”
Dr. Angela Sere-Ejembi told the gathering that since January 31, 2023 was the deadline for the withdrawal of the old Naira notes, there was a need for the people to take advantage of the remaining days to lodge their old notes in the banks.
She disclosed that the new notes were designed with special security features and produced to last long thereby saving the country the money spent on reproducing notes.
She advised the people to report to the CBN through a phone number provided on flyers, any bank that refuses to accept the old Naira notes before the January 31 deadline.