The National Guidance Agency (NOA) in Niger in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sensitized residents of the state of Niger about the need to deposit their old banknotes in banks before the January 31 deadline.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports in Minna on Friday that the sensitization was carried out in all 25 local government areas of Niger.

Yahaya Gbongbo, acting state director of the NOA, said the awareness rally was aimed at helping people accept the government’s policy on redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 naira notes.

“This is to remind people that those who still have the old currency need to take it to the bank and those in the villages who don’t have an account, we have what is called money exchange organized by CBN.

“The money exchanger will give them 10,000 new notes and an account will be opened for the person and the remaining balance will be deposited instantly for them.

“It is a movement towards electronic banking because there is a lot of money in circulation.

“The government came up with this policy to remove the counterfeit currency from circulation and improve the country’s economy,” he said.

Mr. Gbongbo added that the awareness was to let people know that “the deadline is real and they shouldn’t wait and relax to death minutes before taking their money to the bank.”

In addition, Ademola Mohammed, the controller of CBN’s branch in Niger, said that the main bank was collaborating with NOA as a mouthpiece for the federal government to carry messages of any government policy to the nooks and crannies of the country.

“I have gone to some banks and I have seen that their Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) are dispensing new bills,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed explained that one of the reasons for the new redesigned notes was to address the counterfeit naira notes in circulation.

He said the awareness was to let people know that January 31 is still the deadline for the use of old notes.

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