By Ese Awhotu with agency report
Consumer Awareness and Financial Enlightenment Initiative has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to extend the deadline for the exchange of mutilated naira notes by another four months.
CAFEI president, Debola Osibogun, who made the call in Lagos yesterday said that extension of the deadline would enable more people to key into the initiative.
“It is imperative for the CBN to extend the deadline to give room for more people to key into the opportunity to exchange their mutilated notes, especially during the Yuletide period,” Osibogun said.
She explained that it would enable Deposit Money Banks to deploy further human resources into the sorting exercise, which they claimed was quite laborious.
Osibogun noted that the exchange policy started on a slow note because of inadequate publicity.
Noting that the policy is gradually gaining traction, she said, “we are seeing more and more people going to the bank to exchange their old mutilated notes.”
Osibogun said the CBN should give more time for the policy to have impact.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the apex bank on August 31 said the general public should continue to return mutilated bank notes to their banks after the September 2 deadline.
The Director, CBN Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, disclosed this in a telephone interview with NAN.
“The general public should continue to return mutilated bank notes to their banks after the deadline.
“The September 2, 2019, deadline does not apply to bank customers or the general public who will continue to return mutilated notes to the banks.
“It only applies to the banks because free sorting of Naira notes for them will cease at the expiration of that deadline,” Okoroafor said.
He noted that September 2 was only the deadline after which the CBN would begin to charge banks.
Okoroafor said,”We opened a window from June to September, so that when they bring the notes without sorting, we can sort it for them free.
“But as from September 2 , if they get those notes, they need to sort them before they bring them to us.
“The deposit by customers and acceptance by commercial banks of mutilated notes is a normal and continuous banking practice and as such, continues even after September 2.”
Recall that the CBN opened a three-month window from June 3 to September 2 for customers across the country to replace old notes with new ones in all the banks.
The apex bank said this was part of its efforts to improve the overall quality of the naira notes in circulation.
Mutilated notes include any Naira note that has been partially or permanently damaged, but which clearly still has more than half of its original size together.
The CBN has attributed the proliferation of dirty and mutilated Naira notes in circulation to poor and improper handling.