Naira redesign will curb kidnapping —CBN
…Gombe monarchs disagree over deadline extension
The Central Bank of Nigeria has said the redesigned notes will solve the challenge of insecurity especially kidnapping in North-West, Nigeria.
Speaking during an interview with journalists, CBN’s Director, Development Finance, Philip Yila, who was represented by Aliyu Ashiru, explained that the policy would ensure sanity in the system.
The team before swapping old notes for residents, visited traditional rulers namely; Lamido Akko in Akko Local Government Area, Mai Banganje and District Head of Tanglan in Billiri LGA.
“One of the benefits of redesigned notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria is to ensure integrity. We realised that overtime there has been challenges in our cash management a lot of challenges of insecurity border on people who hold money, people who kidnap and seek ransom from the people enforcing the cashless policy will make it difficult for kidnappers to seek for ransom,” Yila said.
Commenting about the essence of the policy, Yila noted that the bank thought it wise to set up high-powered teams across the federation to sensitise the public about the naira redesign policy, “to sensitise them more on the deadline of 31st January, 2023, to implement the cash swap programme that we have developed so that the vulnerable people who don’t have account can have access to the naira notes.
“We have realised that sensitisation is very important and the cash swap programme is extremely important because you will take the activity down to the society, to the villages.
“The cash swap is a support to what the banks are doing and we have designed the policy such that banks feed their ATM machines with the new naira notes because ATMs are very democratic they don’t segregate,” the director added.
On his part, the Lamido Akko, Alhaji Umar Atiku, said “This is a good development we have been expecting something like this from the CBN. Earlier, the traders had started panicking and we are happy business is picking up. I wish to call on the people to take advantage of this opportunity.”
He added, “It is good the CBN has become proactive. I don’t think additional time is advisable, it will be counter productive, if it’s suffering we have already suffered, so why extend the suffering again. Let us also cooperate with the CBN I’m sure there is no need. With what I’m seeing where their teams are roaming with raw cash. I don’t think there is need for additional time.”
The District Head of Tanglan, Audu Tahir lauded the initiative of the apex bank, however, urging for extension.
“The swap is a welcome development. My people have been going from place to place in search of new notes. I’m happy CBN came to our rescue, we really thank the Federal Government and the media for talking about it. The only challenge is that the new notes are scarce, sellers in this domain want new notes from customers.”
He urged government to ensure possible extension, “by two weeks to one month, so that the money can go round.”
Also the Mai Banganje, Tanimu Saleh, said the policy is encouraging but required human face in its implementation.
“Some are not collecting old notes, but as far as I’m concerned the policy is commendable. There was enough time to sensitise people. I have just reached out to the Mai nguwa’s (village heads) so that they can be part of the swap.”
A student, Oliver Mathew, who recently got his old notes swapped, said “I’m a student, we are very grateful for this opportunity to change the old notes for the newly redesigned notes.”
Abiatha Adele, who also swapped his old notes said, “Seriously, I feel very good, since Monday traders have been complaining that they won’t collect old notes. Today, I’m grateful because I can go to the market and change the money, the rest I have taken to the bank.”
Another student, Lilian John, lauded the intervention of CBN, disclosing that traders have stopped accepting old notes within her locality.
“Today, I have changed 6,000. I’m enjoying the new notes, the colour is attractive and I don’t feel like spending it,” she added.