CBN to circulate lower Naira denominations through microfinance banks

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THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released guidelines for the disbursement of lower denominations of the naira through microfinance banks (MFBs) across the country.

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A circular issued by the Director, Currency Operations Department of the apex bank, Mrs. Patricia Eleje, indicated that all microfinance banks must have a composite risk rating (CRR) of above average in the most recent Risk Based Supervision (RBS) target examination before they are considered for the scheme.

This, according to the CBN, was to ensure that only MfBs with good corporate governance practices take part. Meanwhile, the participating MfBs must be willing to accept a mixture of new and other banknotes, and that the MfBs shall give 20 percent of any withdrawal in lower denomination notes subject to a maximum of N50,000.

Where beneficiaries withdraw more than once in a day, the circular said that disbursement will only apply to one transaction per day.

Similarly, the MFBs are allowed to exchange notes subject to a maximum of N50,000 for customers with bank accounts and N10,000 for customers without bank accounts.

In that situation, the banks must not exchange for same beneficiaries more than once a week. Also, MFBs are to maintain a register of amounts received from the CBN through their correspondent commercial banks.

The MFB must also maintain another register of the beneficiaries of the lower denomination notes as well as ensure that withdrawal teller slips contain breakdown of the denomination of the currency to customers with accounts.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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