The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has directed deposit money banks, super agents as well as mobile money operators to swap the old N200, N500 and N1,000 for the newly redesigned notes.
Hence, they are expected to swap up to N10,000 per person while amounts above N10,000 are to be treated as deposits.
This, it was learnt, was to speed up permeation of the new Naira notes, particularly, in the rural areas of the country.
In a circular issued and signed by the director, Banking Supervision department, CBN, Haruna B Mustafa and the director of Payment System Management Department, CBN, Musa Jimoh titled ‘Naira Redesign Policy: CBN Launches Cash Swap Programme in Rural/Underserved Areas’ released on Friday night, the apex bank said, the swap, which would be effective on Monday, January 23, 2022, is expected to enhance the availability of the new notes and ensure people don’t loose their money as a result of the policy.
With the circular, super agents, banks and MMOs operating in rural areas are expected to swap up to N10,000 per person while amounts above N10,000 are to be treated as deposits.
The circular reads: “in furtherance of its Naira Redesign policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sustained its nationwide awareness/sensitization programmes, enforced speedy collection of the new notes at CBN branches by the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and mandated issuance of the new notes through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to ensure distribution is fair, transparent and evenly spread across the country.
“In addition to these measures and in recognition of the need to maximise the channels through which underserved and rural communities can exchange their Naira, the Bank is launching a cash swap programme in partnership with Super Agents & DMBs. The programme enables citizens in rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial services to exchange old Naira notes for redesigned notes.”
The circular added that the old N1000, N500, N200 notes can be exchanged for the newly redesigned notes and/or the existing lower denominations (N100, N50 and N20, and so on) which remain legal tender.
It stressed that, “the agent shall exchange a maximum of N10,000 per person. Amounts above N10,000 may be treated as cash-in deposit into wallets or bank accounts in line with the cashless policy. BVN, NIN, or Voter’s card details of the customers should be captured as much as possible.
To promote financial inclusion, it pointed out that, this service is also available to anybody without a bank account, adding that, agents may, on request instantly open a wallet or account, leveraging the CBN Tiered KYC Framework, saying, this will ensure that this category of the populace are able to exchange or deposit their cash seamlessly without taking unnecessary risk or incurring undue cost.
According to CBN, “designated agents are eligible to collect the redesigned notes from MBs in line with the Revised Cash Withdrawal Limit policy. Agents are also permitted to charge cash-out fees for the cash swap transactions but prohibited from charging any further commissions to customers for this service.
“Agents shall render weekly returns to their designated banks regarding the cash swap transactions.
MBs shall in tum render same to the CBN on a weekly basis. Principals (Super Agents, MMOs, DMBs) shall be held accountable for their agents’ adherence to the above guidelines. Cash Swap agents will be readily identifiable in all local governments, particularly those in rural areas. The CBN will continue to monitor implementation of the programme and provide further guidance as may be necessary.”