The Director of the Legal Services Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Kofo Salam-Alada, has said the agency will go tough on banks that continue to fill their ATM machines with old naira notes as the deadline to phase out the notes nears.
He said the CBN was already monitoring banks that were still dispensing old naira notes from their ATMs.
The director who represented the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, spoke during a sensitisation event on the new naira notes in Computer Village Market, in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said, “I can tell you today that the CBN on daily basis issue out the new notes. As we speak, banks are with the CBN taking money. We are actually begging banks to come and take money from Central Bank. We have these new naira notes in our vaults and we are begging banks to come and take it.
“We found out that a lot of things are happening that we need to checkmate, so we stopped withdrawal of new notes over the counter to ensure that everyone can have access to it and not one chief who is known to the manager, walks in, and carts away all the new notes in a particular branch. That is why we said it should be in the ATMs which cannot distinguish people.
“We also have monitors going around banks now. I have been to some ATMs this morning and I have done the reports. We are not mobilising the masses against the banks because the banks are there to serve you, but be rest assured that they will serve you now that they know that the CBN is on them to serve you with the new naira notes.”
Reacting to questions from traders in the market that some people were selling the new notes, he said anyone caught selling the new notes or any denomination of the naira would be jailed.
Speaking on the new notes, the President of the Coalition of Associations in Computer Village, Timi Davies, noted that the new naira notes are a good initiative.
He said, “But unfortunately, the new notes are not well circulated within our market. The ATM machines are not dispensing the new notes and only a few privileged ones seem to be having access to the new notes.
“We want to encourage the CBN and the government to enforce the deadline on the banks. There should be no bank that should not be giving the new naira from their ATMs. All ATMs should load the new notes. As we are giving the old notes, we should be able to get the new notes. If the ATMs are not dispensing, the new notes will not flow around.”
The Olukosi of Ikeja Land, Chief Lateef Oluseyi, assured the CBN of the support of the traditional rulling house in educating the community.
He dispelled rumours that the new naira was not durable.
According to him, the new notes with more than 35 security features were not easy for counterfeiters to make.