The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has warned of consequences for commercial banks found to be stocking their Automated Teller Machines (ATM) with old notes scheduled to cease to be legal tender by 31st January.
Speaking on Thursday in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, during the sensitisation of market people about the redesigned naira notes, Deputy Director, Currency Operation, Dr Rekiyat Yusuf said that any ATM found to still have old notes would be shut down and appropriate sanction applied on the operating bank.
She urged traders to avail themselves of the opportunity of the January 31 deadline window to visit either their banks or any bank, in case of those without a bank account, and exchange their currency for the newly redesigned notes of 200, 500 and 1,000 naira.
“There is no reason for banks to still be stocking their Automated Teller Machines with old notes and the apex bank has made enough redesigned notes available for dispensing to members of the public,” she said adding that any bank caught would be made to “face appropriate sanction.”
Earlier, Dr Yusuf had outlined the reasons for redesigning the notes including curbing terrorism, kidnapping for ransom and endemic corruption.
Other reasons identified include a lot of money outside the banking system which fuels inflation and the need to fulfil international best practices of redesigning currency once in five to eight years.
Also speaking, the Kogi State branch controller of CBN, Alhaji Ahmed Sule, urged traders to accept the new currency until the January 31 deadline date.
According to him, Lokoja being a gateway state to many states where a lot of business transactions involving currency exchange take place, it is necessary to embark on active sensitisation.”
The Apex bank also embarked on the inspection of some Automated Teller Machines within the metropolis to ensure that the machines are stocked with the newly redesigned notes.