By Bassey Udo
Amid the frenzy over the circulation of the redesigned Naira banknotes and the withdrawal of the old ones, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked Nigerians not to panic, as nobody will lose any money.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja during a meeting with the ad-hoc committee on banking in the House of Representatives on the review of the Bank’s cashless policy and extension of the timeframe for the currency swap programme.
The CBN governor said because the Naira Redesign initiative was in the overall interest of Nigerians and the economy, he was confident that no Nigerian would lose money under its implementation.
He said that subject to the provision of Section 20(3) of the CBN Act, Nigerians would be given the opportunity to redeem the face value of the Naira in their possession after the currency would have lost its legal tender status on February 10, 2023, deadline only at the CBN.
“Nigerians will not lose their money,” he declared, just as he sought the cooperation of the National Assembly to ensure the success of the programme.
Outlining the steps taken by the apex bank to ensure the effective distribution of the new banknotes, the CBN governor disclosed that about N1.9 trillion had so far been collected since the commencement of the exercise.
The currency redesign policy, he said, had so far recorded about a 75 percent success rate given that many of those in the rural and underserved locations across the 36 states of the Federation have had the opportunity of swapping their old banknotes for the new series of the banknotes.
Emefiele, who was accompanied to the meeting by all the four deputy governors at the Bank, disclosed that the CBN had deployed about 30,000 super agents across the country to work with the its staff currently in the hinterland, to ensure that the underserved and vulnerable members of the society were adequately catered for.
The CBN Governor also disclosed that the Bank was working closely with relevant agencies of the Federal Government to ensure full compliance with the CBN guidelines issued to the deposit money banks for the seamless distribution of the new banknotes.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Special Ad-hoc committee, kAdo Doguwa, expressed the support of the House of Representatives for the cashless policy of the Bank, stressing that the House would assist the CBN to achieve its mandate in that regard.
Dogowa welcomed the submission of the CBN Governor and stressed the need for more collaboration with the lawmakers and other arms of government to ensure effective realisation of set objectives.