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CBN deepens sensitisation to rurals in Cross River, as locals lament banks hoarding new naira notes

By Tina Agosi Todo, Calabar
26 January 2023   |   8:45 am
The Central Bank of Nigeria, Calabar branch has deepened its sensitisation of redesigning naira notes to Central and Northern districts of Cross River State.

CBN sensitizing and distributing flyers in Ogoja Market square in Cross River North.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, Calabar branch has deepened its sensitisation of redesigning naira notes to Central and Northern districts of Cross River State.

The locals have alleged that commercial banks are hoarding the new naira notes of N200, N500 and N1000 and that most ATMs are not working.

The CBN team led by the Deputy Director of, the Banking Supervision Department, Amonia Opusunju has been on a five-day sensitisation to inform the people living in the rural areas to take their old notes to the bank on or before Tuesday, January 31, 2023.

Some communities, particularly in the Central and Northern parts of the state, where banks are not located, were advised to deposit their money with POS agents nearest to them yesterday.

When the team visited one of the commercial banks in Ugep, Yakurr local government council, only one of the ATMs was dispensing the new naira notes of N1000.

While narrating their ordeals, some of the residents at the ATM stands lamented that only N20,000 minimum was being dispensed in a day.

They have not set their eyes on the new naira notes and accused banks of hoarding the new notes for reasons unknown.

They said even the POS agents do not have the new notes.

While in some of the communities, most of the POS agents have stopped collecting the old notes.

In Ekuri community, in Yakurr local government area of the state, a trader, Innocent Omini told the CBN team that he has not come across the new notes since their circulation.

Omini who pleaded with CBN to extend the date said, ” I have not set my eyes on that money since the circulation and none of my customers in this village has bought something from me with the money, that is to say, they don’t have it.”

A POS agent, who spoke with The Guardian said, ” I went to the bank yesterday in Ugep with N200,000 to change because customers are asking for the new money, but the bank asked me to use the ATM to get only N20,000, I have to return back with my money because I have to do my business.” She said.

In Ogoja and Yala local government councils, most of the old people lamented that they don’t have bank accounts to deposit their money.

When the team visited the village head of Oti West Clan, Eya Atahere Village, Nyanya-Ulim, Bekwarra local government area, His Highness Chief Oniga Stephen, said the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has visited them lately to sensitise the people on the said deadline. He however assured the team of the palace’s commitment to sensitise the people.

He said their major challenge in the rural communities is that most people do not have bank accounts and banks are far from the villages.

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