The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will monitor commercial banks to ensure they comply with the directive of loading the redesigned naira notes in their automated teller machines (ATMs).
CBN director of currency operations, Ahmed Umar, disclosed this on Monday at the training session for state directors, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on the ‘redesign of currency notes policy’.
Mr Umar said the CBN’s directive was to implement the January 31 deadline withdrawal of old naira notes in circulation.
“We want to use this training session to pass the message that CBN has enough currency notes to go round the general public. We, CBN management, have mandated banks to stop putting old notes in their ATM machines. They should only put the new notes,” stated the apex bank director.
He added, “And there is the serialisation of the policy that they can put either N500, N1000 or N200 note whichever the denomination they have or combination of any of those notes, they should just put a new note in their machines.”
Mr Umar added, “We are going to monitor to ensure that the banks comply, and if they don’t, we have a penalty for non-compliance.”
According to him, it takes a few years to change a currency note design in many countries.
“In our own case, what we had was basically over 20 years of having the same design of the note. Over that period, what it did to us was to create avenue for some people to master the act of counterfeiting the note,” the CBN official noted. “In our own case, what we have is the minimum of 17 years or more for us to redesign our currency. If you notice the N1000 note that was introduced in 2005, it took 17 years for us to redesign it. N500 and N200 notes were also redesigned after 21 years and 22 years, respectively.”
According to him, another reason is that N500 and N1000 constitute 99 per cent of the currency notes that are being targeted for counterfeiting.
“It is simple logic. The effort you put into counterfeit N1000 is the same effort you put to counterfeit N5. So, why will they waste their energy making small notes? They always target the higher note, particularly N1000 because of values attach to it,” he said.