Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN is to commence sanction of commercial banks that failed to comply with issuance of the redesigned naira notes.
Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele announced this after a sensitisation campaign and inspection of banks within lafia the Nasarawa state capital to ascertain the level of compliance on issuance of the new notes at ATM points and over the counter.
Represented by the Director of security services, Atiku Mohammad, the CBN governor said the measure followed reports of continued issuance of the old notes by banks after recieving the new ones that can adequately go round.
He emphasised that the deadline of 31 of this month to phase out the old 200,500 and 1000 naira notes remained sacrosanct.
According to Godwin Emefiele, redesigning of the naira notes would encourage market women in rural areas and other traders as well as farmers across the country to embrace electronic banking and reduce the circulation of cash in the economy .
He expressed hope that the measure would also reduce cases of kidnapping ,armed robbery and other dangerous crimes in the society.
According to Emefiele, electronic banking has come to stay in the country and in no distant time, circulation of the naira notes would be gradually phased out.
At the end of the compliance tour, two banks were found wanting for failure to comply with CBN’s directive for banks to immediately begin to dispense the new notes at their ATM outlets and over the counter.
Controller of Nasarawa state CBN branch Lafia, Shehu Yakubu assured residents of Nasarawa state that henceforth the bank in collaboration with relevant government agencies would commence community to community sensitisation campaign on the new naira notes and the need for people to take the old ones to the bank before the expiry date.
Representative of the National orientation Agency in the state promised to work closely with the CBN to achieve the desired objectives.
Market women and men who attended the sensitisation campaign at the popular Alhamis market along Kwandare road lafia, appealed for the extention of the deadline due to lack of awareness in the hinterlands.
Cov/Yusuf Usman EDITED BY GRACE NAMIJI