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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has told Nigerians to exercise patience and calmly join queues to swap their new naira notes at any commercial banks ahead of the deadline for the validity of the old notes.
Emefiele appealed to Nigerians to understand and follow the trending number system at ATM stalls, adding that one could return the next day if the bank claimed money finished on his or her turn for the day.
He said the redesigned notes would eventually circulate and be accessible to all. Emefiele made the statement in Lagos on Friday, 3rd Feb, 2023 during a special media briefing on the new naira notes.
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The CBN Governor said the bank noted with sympathy the protests and arguments across states due to the difficulty citizens were facing in accessing the new notes.
“I understand the agitation, and I’m begging in God’s name, we are on our knees begging people to please show understanding. They should be calm.
“In our meetings with the banks, we have told them to set up tents and chairs and give people numbers, which I’m sure some people will say is old-fashioned.
“But at this time that we’re trying to get the currency in circulation amongst everybody, people have to have numbers, and they come in under a queueing arrangements that when you come in you get served, if it finishes, just be patient.
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“By tomorrow, when you come back, they will start from where they stopped; you will not be cheated.
“Let’s just be calm and adopt a good queueing system; the assurance we give is that it will eventually go around.”
Emefiele assured that the limits on withdrawals would be raised and removed subsequently, and people would be able to conduct their business transactions in a way that it has always been in the past.
Speaking on high charges by the Point of Sale agents on every transaction made by their customers, the apex bank governor urged banks to stop the charges on the PoS.
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“I am going to be calling a meeting with the banks this evening or by tomorrow, if those charges go to or those charges have been charged through the bank, we are going to have an arrangement with even telcos to see how those charges can actually at this time be stopped.
“Those charges at this time should be stopped. So, if we know whatever you are making that you’re not making because we stopped it, we can collect it somewhere and look for a way to pay you.
“But we don’t want you to continue to create pain on those who want to use alternative channels when they cannot have cash in their pocket.
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“We will go into this later this night or even tomorrow; we’re going to call a meeting of both the banks and the mobile networks; at this time, nobody should be charged, if you are charged, we will need to know about it.
“But we would want this service to continue to be offered. Whatever it is in terms of volume and number that you have carried out. We will look for a way to pay you your money.”