CBN slaps DMBs N1m fine for clean Naira note policy infraction

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday indicated its plan to release a new Clean Currency Policy and Banknote Fitness Guidelines and plans as part of its efforts to mop up all the mutilated naira notes in circulation nationwide.

The apex bank’s Director, Currency Operations, Priscilla Eleje, while giving the hint on the planned release of the Clean Note Policy and the Banknote Fitness Guidelines in Lagos, said that the CBN would impose a N1 million fine on any bank found to have issued counterfeit naira notes to its customers.

She said: “We are coming out very soon with a policy, a plan, a programme for us to withdraw mutilated notes from circulation. Once we are done with that, we will give a time frame within which banks will bring all those terrible notes, over-circulated notes in your vaults.”

The banking expert therefore urged banks not to reject mutilated notes from their customers but collect them and bring them to the CBN when the mop exercise begins.

Eleje expatiated further that in the implementation of the proposed policy, said that the bank would try and do it in a way that banks and customers will be happy to give the mutilated currency to the CBN.

Earlier in his remarks, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, expressed the hope that “more private sector participation in the currency management value chain would further strengthen the efforts toward ensuring availability of clean banknotes”.

According to him, currency management is vital to our daily lives because despite the improvements in electronic payments system, banknotes remain predominant for payment and settlement of commercial transactions in Nigeria.

This is even as the Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Operations, Ade Shonubi, pointed out that “the effective use of these documents by relevant stakeholders would ensure that banknotes in circulation are clean and of high quality. These characteristics are key to sustaining public confidence in the national currency.”

Emefiele explained that the CBN, in its bid to promote effective and efficient currency management in Nigeria, registered eight firms to carry out cash-in-transit companies, CITs, and two cash processing companies, CPCs, to operate in the country.

He stressed that banks were expected to patronise only registered companies for CIT and sorting services.

Meanwhile, the apex bank, as part of its effort towards devolving the retail cash management to the private sector, has approved the revised guidelines for registration of CIT/CPCs.

The guidelines provide for the operation of CITs and CPCs at both national and regional levels as a strategy to encourage unregistered companies to come under the regulatory purview of the Central Bank and ensure a nationwide coverage of these services.

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