Nigeria: CBN expresses satisfaction at positive response to Naira redesign, commits to protecting unbanked, underserved rural dwellers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has restated its commitment to protect interests of millions of unbanked and underserved Nigerians, who mostly reside in the rural areas.

The apex bank made this known on Sunday, in a statement by its Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, against the backdrop of the planned redesign of certain denominations of the Naira.

Nwanisobi expressed satisfaction at the positive response of the banking public to the plan.

He said that the CBN remains committed to its seamless implementation, so as to preserve the integrity of the Naira by reducing the volume of cash outside the banking system.

“The CBN is pleased to note the positive response of the banking public to the policy through increased currency deposits across banks and other financial institutions.

“The CBN remains committed to the seamless implementation of the initiative to ensure the achievement of its objective to preserve the integrity of local legal tender.

“This will be achieved by reducing the significant amount of cash outside the banking system and its use for criminal activities, curtailing counterfeiting and promoting financial inclusion,” he said.

Nwanisobi said that the CBN was taking steps to ensure that vulnerable Nigerians do not suffer untoward hardship due to the Naira redesign initiative.

“Accordingly, the banking public in rural and underserved areas may access CBN branches in the 36 states for enquiries.

“They can make enquiries about options for depositing their current N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, account opening process and financial access points,” he said.

According to him, “agent locations” across the country have been fully enabled for Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration, opening of bank accounts and eNaira wallets, electronic card distribution and cash deposit.

“Due to the policy, the agents have also been accorded priority to enable them deposit cash collections through bank branches across the country.

“The CBN shall continue to monitor developments and issue updates to the banking public on the implementation of the Naira redesign policy as may be necessary,” he said.