From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed commercial banks in Gombe State to launch and strengthen their services to operate from Mondays to Saturdays to receive and replace old naira notes with new ones for customers.
This was announced by the Gombe CBN Branch comptroller Shehu Alhaji Goringo while speaking during a sensitisation organised by the bank for traders in the state tagged ‘Market Storm’ at the Gombe Main Market.
He said the decision to allow banks to open till weekends is to enable the citizens to deposit their old currencies before the 31st January deadline when they will no more valid.
“This policy is not hearsay, it is real. In the next few days, the old notes will be invalid. So, we urge you to go to the banks to deposit them and collect new ones. That is why we gave commercial banks the go-ahead to work till weekends to ensure people deposit their old notes and get new notes within the stipulated time,” he told the traders.
The Branch comptroller noted that the present notes have been used for about 20 years explaining that the best practice is that redesigning the notes should be undertaken every five to eight years.
According to him, the policy was meant to checkmate hoarding of the notes which causes the shortage of clean notes and counterfeiting pointing out that the new money can not be faked ‘because of its protective attributes’.
He also said that there is no limit to how much money an individual or corporate organisation can deposit during the transition period adding that depositors will not be interrogated.
Also speaking, the secretary of the Gombe State Traders Association, Adamu Manga, advised his members to embrace the e-naira introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria opining that it will make transactions easy for them and prevent robbery by criminals in markets.