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NEW NAIRA: CBN Launches Cash Swap programme for Underserved Communities

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a currency swap program, an initiative to exchange old for new Naira notes for rural and underprivileged regions, ahead of the January 31 deadline for the phase-out of old notes.

Seven days before the deadline, on January 23, 2023, today, Monday, the initiative will begin. In a circular addressed to all deposit money banks (DMBs), mobile money operators (MMOs), super agents, and agents with the headline “Naira redesign policy: CBN begins cash swap program in rural and underserved areas,” CBN made this disclosure.

The currency swap program enables residents of rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial institutions to trade over their old Naira notes for new ones. As a result, the previous N1,000, N500, and N200 notes can be exchanged for the newer notes and/or the older smaller denomination notes (N100, N50, and N20, etc.), which are still valid.

The CBN circular states that the agent may only trade up to N10,000 per person, and that amounts above N10,000 must be deposited into wallets or bank accounts in compliance with the cashless policy. The customer’s bank verification number (BVN), national identity number (NIN), and voter’s card information should be recorded as soon as feasible, according to CBN. According to the circular, anyone without a bank account can use the service in an effort to promote financial inclusion.

The CBN further stated that, in accordance with the amended cash withdrawal limit policy, circular designated agents are qualified to collect the redesigned notes from MBs.

Read also – CBN must resist further monetary policy tightening – CPPE

The circular stated.

“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. Agents shall render weekly returns to their designated banks regarding the cash swap transactions. MBs shall in tum render the same to the CBN on a weekly basis.

“Principals (Super Agents, MMOs, DMBs) shall be held accountable for their agents’ adherence to the above guidelines. Cash Swap agents will be readily identifiable in all local governments, particularly those in rural areas. The CBN will continue to monitor the implementation of the programme and provide further guidance as may be necessary”.

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