The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is collaborating with stakeholders, especially those in the agent banking sector, to ensure cash deposits in rural, underserved areas across the country.
Osita Nwanisobi, director of the apex bank’s corporate communications, said this in a statement issued over the weekend.
On October 26, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, announced the plan to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 denomination of the currency, to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flow.
In the statement, Nwasinobi said the development was part of efforts by the CBN to ensure Nigerians in unbanked, underserved and rural areas are catered to as it implements the naira redesign policy.
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.
While noting the progressive increase in financial access points and alternative banking channels over the years (electronic/internet banking, mobile apps, ATM, cards/PoS, eNaira, agent banking); he said the bank acknowledged that these may not be evenly 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.”
Nwanisobi further expressed the pleasure of the apex bank at the positive response of the banking public to the policy through increased currency deposits across banks and other financial institutions.
He added that the bank would continue to monitor developments and issue updates to the banking public on the implementation of the naira redesign policy.
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