The Central Bank of Nigeria said it has plans to withdraw dirty notes from circulation – The apex bank noted that a large number of the N7.9 trillion pieces of naira notes in circulation were bad – CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, is expected to launch a policy to address this problem The Central Bank of Nigeria has recognised the fact that a large portion of the N7.9 trillion pieces of naira notes in circulation are dirty, mutilated, unfit for Automated Teller Machines and will be withdrawn. The Nation reports that the apex bank noted this in a statement by its deputy governor of operations, Folashodun Shonubi, and director of currency operations department, Pricilla Eleje. The officials said the bank has the obligation of providing clean notes to the people. CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele is due in Lagos tomorrow to launch “The clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines” as the apex bank said this was a step to address this issue. The clean note policy provides a uniform standard for the circulation of only clean and fit banknotes; while the banknote fitness guidelines provide the industry with clear and acceptable criteria for determining the quality of notes in circulation. “The CBN cannot achieve these objectives without the collaboration of deposit money banks(DMBs), merchant banks, microfinance banks, government agencies, Cash-in- Transit ( CIT), Cash Processing Companies (CPCs), Market Associations, merchants/retailers, chambers of commerce and industry, security agencies, currency Management equipment manufacturers , bank customers and the general public. “In view of technological advances, the CBN, like other central banks has introduced various forms of electronic payment systems for effective and efficient settlement of transactions and to reduce the volume of cash usage with its attendant cost implications. “Despite the prevalence of other forms of payment, cash remains ‘king’ in our day to day economic transactions. As such, people still prefer to use cash in making payments especially where there are no digital payment platforms,” the statement read. According to CBN, the volume of currency in circulation as at the end of 2012 rose significantly by 10.34 per cent to 7,914.70 billion pieces, as at half year of 2018. It added that demand for cash continues to grow despite technological advances. It added that from time to time, the bank introduces a number of currency management initiatives to ensure that the production, issuance of new notes, processing by third service providers as well as recirculation by the deposit money banks (DMBs) conform to the predetermined standards. To ensure that the banknotes in circulation are clean and of high quality, the bank hereby issues the clean note policy. The clean note policy enunciated therefore by the bank, entails a spectrum of diverse currency management activities geared towards the efficient circulation of premium quality banknotes and withdrawal of unfit/soiled banknotes to guarantee public confidence and usage of the naira banknotes as a medium of exchange,” CBN stated. The House of Representatives had earlier urged the CBN to immediately commence the withdrawal of mutilated naira notes from all banks, and replace them with new notes, especially the N100 denominations which bear the face of the late Obafemi Awolowo. Hon Adekoya Adesegun Abdel-Majid, the member representing Ijebu-North/Ijebu-East/Ogun Waterside of Ogun state, pointed out that the naira now appears in inglorious forms and with odours that can be dangerous to human health. He further explained that the notes are usually dirty, mutilated, badly torn, terribly squeezed, soiled and cello taped.
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