After initially ignoring pleas to extend the period to return old naira notes, Nigeria’s central bank recently said it has moved the deadline to return old notes to February 10. The bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, said some 30,000 so-called super agents have been deployed across the country to help with the cash exchange process.

CBN Governor Says Currency Swap Exercise A Success

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently said it had extended the deadline to return old naira notes by an additional ten days. In his January 29 press release, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said that while the exercise has been a success, moving the deadline from January 31 to February 10 helps the bank achieve success in the rural communities.

The announcement follows weeks of pleas from residents who wanted more time to return the soon-to-be demonetized naira notes. The extension announcement also came just days after a News report suggested that some Nigerian banks were still distributing the old notes.

To ensure that the CBN’s objectives are achieved before the old notes are withdrawn from circulation, Emefiele said that central bank staff along with their counterparts from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) mobilized and monitored the process. . In addition, the governor said some 30,000 super agents had been deployed across the country to help with the cash exchange process in regions underserved by banks.

CBN targets rural communities

Commenting on the success of the central bank so far, Emefiele said:

We are pleased that the exercise has so far achieved a success rate of over 75% of the N2.7 trillion [$5.86 billion] outside the banking system.

The governor also said he aimed to give residents with actually earned money the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped money into the CBN for exchange.

Meanwhile, in his statement, Emefiele, who has been accused of financing terrorists, insisted that the central bank’s goal is not just to improve the effectiveness of its monetary policy, but to help Nigeria’s security agencies in their fight against bandits. and kidnappers. By demonetizing the old notes, the CBN will fulfill its mandate to redesign its currency every five to eight years, Emefiele added.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is an award-winning journalist, author and writer in Zimbabwe. He has written extensively about the economic problems of some African countries and how digital currencies can provide an escape route for Africans.

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