Deputy Director, Operations of The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Tunde Lemo, has said the
bank will take delivery of new Naira notes
before the end of September for circulation.
The News Agency Of Nigeria reports that The Apex bank had earlier said that new Naira notes would be in circulation by June, and that
the smaller denomination notes (N5, N10, N20, and N50) would be reprinted on paper.
“The public will get a large quantity of the new notes to replace the old and mutilated notes, particularly the higher denomination notes in the first instance, then later the lower
denominations,’’ he said.
On the scarcity of the lower denomination notes, Lemo blamed commercial banks for what he called “poor circulation’’.
“For the lower denomination; well, I think the banks are really the ones that are not allowing the lower denomination in circulation, largely, because of the carrying value. Most people don’t require small
denomination. But for buying things in the market, if you look at the veracity, you find out that the N50 circulate more than the smaller ones,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Lemo has urged law enforcement agencies to arrest all illegal hawkers of new Naira notes.
He also called on commercial banks to keep watchful eyes on their staff to avoid being used as conduit for illegal transfer of new notes to unauthorised hands. Lemo said this should be done to ensure effective protection of the currency from abuse.
“We have done all we can do in the sense that we have criminalised this in the 2007 Act. It is clear that if you hawk notes, if you abuse the currency, it is a criminal offence and it is
punishable. Hence, we expect law enforcement agencies to do
the arrest. We don’t have power to arrest. We know it is going on,’’ he said. Lemo said commercial banks should “dispense and pay their customers with new notes’’.
He said the apex bank had carried out
sensitisation campaigns to inform the public and warn them about the dangers of patronising hawkers. “I think that is the limit the central bank can go,’’ the deputy governor
Naira notes are reportedly sold at Dei Dei along Kubwa Express Road, Abuja, as well as other locations across the country.