Details Of CBN Gov, Emefiele’s Meeting With Buhari Over Old Naira Note Emerges
On Sunday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released a document containing details of the meeting between the apex bank’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Naija News reports that there has been an outrage over the deadline for collecting old naira notes and swapping them for newly redesigned notes.
CBN had earlier maintained that old N1000, N500, and N200 notes would seize to be valid as legal tender on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023. It urged Nigerians to visit the bank branches and money agents to swap their notes ahead of the deadline.
There were, however, a series of lamentations by Nigerians as the new naira notes are yet to circulate. To ease the tension and allow those who are yet to get exchanged do so, the CBN announced on Sunday (today) that President Buhari has approved the extension for the collection of the old naira notes.
According to the apex bank, the development resulted from the Sunday meeting between Emefiele and President Buhari.
“Good afternoon, ladies and Gentlemen. As you can see, I have just ended a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari. The purpose of the meeting is to provide Mr President with updates about the implementation status of the CBN currency redesign program currently going on across the Federation,” Emefiele revealed in a press release today.
The CBN Governor thanked President Buhari for giving the apex bank the approval to embark on the ambitious program because. According to Emefiele, the CBN hasn’t had the opportunity to embark on such a currency redesign program in the last 19 years.
“Let me emphasize that only an incorruptible leader of the President’s stature can give such approval to the CBN,” Emefiele said.
The statement added: “Ladies and Gentlemen, from the onset of this currency redesign program, we made it clear that for 19 years, the CBN hasn’t been able to conduct this important aspect of its mandate, whereas this should normally have been done within a 5–8 years window.
“Our aim is mainly to make our Monetary Policy Decisions more efficacious, and as you can see, we have started to see inflation trending downwards and exchange rates relatively stable.
“Secondly, we aim to support the efforts of our security agencies in combating Banditry and Ransom taking in Nigeria through this program, and we can see that the Military is making good progress in this important task in Nigeria.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, available data at the CBN have shown that in 2015, Currency in circulation was only N1.4 trillion. As of October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion, out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking Industry and N2.7 trillion was held permanently in people’s homes.
“Ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used, and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN, thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.”
According to Emefiele, the apex bank has so far collected about N1.9 trillion, leaving them with about N900 billion (N500b + N1.9 trillion) since the commencement of this program.
According to Emefielfe, below are the following steps the CBN has taken the following recover all old notes and ensure circulation:
“a – We held several meetings with our Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and provided them with Guidance Notes on processes they must adopt in collecting old notes, and distributions the News Notes to all Nigerians. These include specific directives to DMBs to load new notes into their ATMs nationwide to ensure an equitable transparent mechanism for the distribution of the new notes to all Nigerians.
“b- We commenced nationwide sensitization through Print and electronic media to create awareness of the redesigned notes to Nigerians, including collaboration with the National Orientation agency to reach all Nigerians across multiple channels.
“c – we deployed 30,000 Super Agents nationwide to assist in our Cash Swap initiative in the hinterlands, rural areas, and regions underserved by banks in the country to ensure that the weak and vulnerable ones amongst us can swap/exchange their old notes.
“d- We deployed all our staff, particularly the Assistant Directors, Deputy Directors and Directors in Abuja to proceed to all CBN branches Nationwide to join the mass mobilization campaign and monitoring programs, working with the Deposit Money Banks, agents and our Branch controllers across the 36 states of the Federation.
According to Emefiele, the above steps were taken to ensure compliance with all guidelines already issued for the smooth implementation of the program.
The statement added: “Although we have received some reports of breaches by some bank branches, we have agreed with Executive chairmen of the EFCC and ICPC to assist us by sending their staff to all CBN and DMB branches nationwide to join in monitoring the implementation of these guidelines.
The aim is to ensure compliance with the laid down guidelines.
e- We are happy that the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 per cent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and the vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes, leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative and the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitization team exercise.
f- Aside from those holding illicit/stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we aim to give all Nigerians who have legitimately earned and trapped the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.
Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following:
“i. A 10day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swaps in our rural communities, after which all old notes outside the CBN losses their Legal tender status. Our CBN staff, currently on mass mobilization and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC, will work together to achieve these objectives.
ii. a 7-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17, 2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act, allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its legal tender status,” the statement noted.
The CBN thereby appeal to all Nigerians to work with the bank to ensure a hitch-free process for implementing the initiative.