Following the recent policy on currency redesign, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pledged to protect the unbanked and underserved Nigerians, especially at the rural areas.
CBN made the pledge in a statement issued by its Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi on Sunday in Abuja.
The apex bank while giving the update on the policy said, it was pleased with the positive response of the banking public to the policy through increased currency deposits across banks and other financial institutions.
It said, it remains committed to the seamless implementation of the initiative to ensure the achievement of its objectives to preserve the integrity of the local legal tender by reducing the significant amount of cash outside the banking system and its use in criminal activities, curtail counterfeiting, and promote financial inclusion, amongst others.
Whilst 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, etc.), the Bank acknowledges that these may not be evenly distributed across all geopolitical zones and in some rural areas.
It said, in operationalizing the initiative, it has been collaborating with relevant agencies and other stakeholders in the financial system in its execution, particularly ensuring that vulnerable citizens are not disenfranchised.
Accordingly, it said, 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, etc.
Furthermore, CBN said, agent locations across the country have been fully enabled for BVN registration, opening banking accounts/wallets & e-Naira wallets, electronic card distribution, and cash deposit, among others.
It said, due to the policy, the agents have also been accorded priority to enable them to deposit cash collections through bank branches across the federation.
CBN said, it shall continue to monitor developments and issue updates to the banking public on the implementation of the Naira redesign policy as may be necessary.