Naira Redesign: What happens to market women and rural dwellers? CBN Clarifies

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In order to ensure cash deposits in rural, underserved communities around the nation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it is working with stakeholders, particularly those in the agent banking industry.

This was stated in a statement that was released over the weekend by Osita Nwanisobi, director of corporate communications for the apex bank.

The plan to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations of currency was announced by Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, on October 26. This was done to help security agencies combat illicit financial flow and to control the money supply.

According to Nwasinobi's statement, the CBN is working to guarantee that Nigerians in rural, underserved, and unbanked areas are catered to while the naira redesign program is implemented.

Agent banking is the provision of financial services to customers by a third party (agent) on behalf of a licensed deposit-taking financial institution and/or mobile money operator.

Although alternative banking channels and financial access points have steadily increased over time (e.g., electronic/internet banking, mobile apps, ATMs, cards/PoS, eNaira, agent banking), he noted that the bank was aware that these may not be equally distributed across all geopolitical zones and in some rural areas.

“In operationalising this initiative, the CBN has been collaborating with relevant agencies and other stakeholders in the financial system in its execution, particularly ensuring that vulnerable citizens are not disenfranchised,” the statement reads.

Accordingly, the banking public in rural and/or underserved areas may access CBN branches in the 36 states of the federation to enquire about options for depositing their current N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, wallet/account opening processes, financial access points.

“Furthermore, agent locations across the country have been fully enabled for BVN registration, opening banking accounts/wallets and e-Naira wallets, electronic card distribution, and cash deposit, among others.

“Due to the policy, the agents have also been accorded priority to enable them to deposit cash collections through bank branches across the federation.”

Godwin Emefiele CBN Governor
Godwin Emefiele CBN Governor
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