The Central Bank of Nigeria has launched a cash swap policy in villages and financially included areas ahead of the January 31 deadline for the old notes to seize being legal tender.
The programme which will be launched on January 23, 2023 will be in partnership with super agents, the CBN said in a circular sent to THE WHISTLER on Saturday.
The circular ‘BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/15/022, was addressed to Deposit Money Banks, Mobile Money Operators, Super Agents and Agent Naira Redesign Policy.
The CBN redesigned the N1,000, N500 and N200 notes in December with the plan to withdraw the old notes January 31, 2023 but the new notes have been poorly circulated by the apex bank.
Most rural communities are yet to receive the notes issued by the CBN.
The CBN said the poor circulation resulted to the swap Programme.
But the apex bank said rural dwellers and participants will pay agents an unspecified amount as fee to swap the new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes.
The CBN said, “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 maximize 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 initiative takes effect from Monday, January 23, 2022.”
The bank said further that the lower denomination notes like the N100, N50, N20 among others could be swapped for the new currency.
The CBN said, “The old N1000, N500, N200 notes can be exchanged for the newly redesigned notes and/or the existing lower denominations (N100, N50 and N20, etc) which remain legal tender.
“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, this service is also available to anybody without a bank account. Agents may, on request instantly open a wallet or account, leveraging the CBN Tiered KYC Framework. 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 the apex bank, the agents are eligible to get new notes from banks.
The bank said, “Agents shall sensitize customers on opening wallets/ bank accounts and the various channels for conducting electronic transactions.
“Designated agents are eligible to collect the redesigned notes from DMBs 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.”