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We Have Made Adequate Supply Of New Notes To Bonny Island- CBN

By Adedayo Said

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has deployed more new notes to Bonny Island following agitations by residents over scarcity.

Residents of Bonny Island like most Nigerians had last week, complained over the possibility of being left out of the naira swap exercise following the scarcity of the new notes in banks across the Island.

But in a swift reaction, the CBN deployed its personnel to the area to monitor the situation, insisting it has now made the notes available across automated teller machines (ATMs) and approved for operators of Point of Sale (POS) machines on the Island to be supplied the new notes.

The Branch Controller of the Central Bank in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Maxwell Okafor disclosed these details in a statement after a visit to Bonny Island to monitor the ongoing old naira notes swap exercise and to sensitise the community.

The statement said Okafor was in Bonny in the company of the Head of Development Banking, CBN, Port Harcourt, Stanley Oruyeigha and other officials of the bank to review the level of compliance with the CBN directives by commercial banks.

He said following the extension of the deadline for the return of old Naira notes, the CBN has ensured that adequate amounts of the redesigned Naira notes are supplied to all banks operating across the country, especially in Bonny Island.

“We are here to sensitize the people of Bonny Island about the redesigned naira that is being introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria and to let them know that the old naira will soon cease to be legal tenders.

”Also, we are here to tell them that banks are bound to collect the old monies until the deadline. If there is any bank that refuses to collect it, you call us to report it.

He acknowledged the concerns of customers and the general public with regards to the redesigned naira notes, saying all the issues raised have been adequately addressed but maintained that for now, the new notes can only be gotten through the ATMs and not paid over the counter.

“We have addressed the people’s questions. After monitoring the situation in the banks, we are very well satisfied that the banks got an adequate supply of the new currency.

“The instruction is that they should not pay over the counter but put the new notes in the ATM for now. All the banks are well-supplied. All the ATMs we visited are up and running and they are paying new notes. We have told them that no ATM should dispense old notes. We are already aware of the large calls for new notes. So, we are satisfied with what we saw on ground.”

He urged the people of the area to hurry and return their old naira notes to the banks, announcing that the commercial banks would be open to receive the old notes through the weekend.

The CBN team led by Okafor also paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Bonny Chiefs Council, Se-Alabo Dagogo Claude-Wilcox to intimated him of the purpose of their visit to the Island.

Okafor appealed for support from the Bonny Kingdom Traditional Council in disseminating the information relating to the CBN policy on the redesigned naira notes.

Recall that following agitations by Nigerians over the scarcity of the new Naira notes, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, with the approval of the President, on Sunday extended the deadline for the exchange of old naira notes by 10 days.

He advised those yet to exchange their old notes to take advantage of the extension, warning that the deadline will not be extended again.

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