The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday asked bank customers to report any commercial bank that rejects dirty, soiled, worn out, defaced or mutilated naira notes for sanction.
CBN Director, Currency Operations Department Mrs. Pricilla Eleje, passed the message to bank customers during the launch of the Clean Note Policy and Banknote Fitness Guidelines in Lagos.
She said the apex bank will soon circulate the guidelines on clean note policy to banks, which will also be made available to bank customers for them to know when any lender is not complying.
Eleje said the regulator will regularly carry out spot checks on bank branches, based on complaints from customers, which will serve as guide on where to go.
“Complaints from customers on any bank not accepting dirty notes will serve as a trigger for the CBN to know where to go and penalty for defaulting banks. There should also be a banner in every banking hall for customers to understand the Note Policy and Banknote Fitness Guidelines and also their rights as stipulated in it,” she said.
The CBN Director, also said the apex bank is planning mobile courts to try currency counterfeiters to serve as a deterrent to others.
She said the CBN will continue to sensitize the public on the basic security features of the notes, the dangers of sale of the Naira, and proper handling habits of the banknotes by the public. She said that any abuse of the Naira is a criminal offence, punishable under the CBN Act of 2007.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that currency management is vital to people’s daily lives because despite the improvements in electronic payments system, banknotes remain predominant for payment and settlement of commercial transactions in Nigeria.
“The effective use of these documents by relevant stakeholders would ensure that banknotes in circulation are clean and of high quality. Characteristics that are key to sustaining public confidence in the National currency,” Emefiele, who was represented by CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Folashodun Shonubi, said.
He added: “The CBN has registered eight companies to carry out cash-in-transit and two cash processing companies to operate in Nigeria. Deposit money banks (DMBs) are expected to patronize only these registered companies for Cash-in-Transit and sorting services”.
He said the CBN has also put in place strategies to enable direct disbursement of lower banknotes to various market associations and merchants through their respective DMBs adding that the intervention commenced in Abuja and has been extended to Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Umuahia, Yola, Jos, Gombe, Asaba, Ibadan, Kastina, Uyo, Minna and Port Harcourt.
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