The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says that it is working on a plan to mop up all the mutilated naira notes in circulation across the country.

Meanwhile the apex bank said it would impose N1 million fine on any bank found to issue counterfeit naira notes.

Director, Currency Operations, CBN, Mrs Priscilla Eleje, disclosed this in Lagos while speaking at the unveiling of the apex bank’s Clean Note Policy and the Banknote Fitness Guidelines.

Eleje 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.

In view of this she urged banks not to reject mutilated notes from their customers but collect them so as to bring them to the CBN when it starts mopping up mutilated notes. She said: “Please, don’t reject mutilated notes when you customers give them to you.

We will try and do it in a way that you will be happy to give them to us. The details we will pass up to the banks later. We will encourage you to bring them (the old notes), that is a promise.”

Speaking earlier at the event, Governor, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, called for increased participation of private sector participation (PSP) in currency management.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr Ade Shonubi, Emefiele, said that the CBN in its bid to promote effective and efficient currency management in Nigeria has registered eight firms to carry out cash-in-transit companies (CITs) and two cash processing companies (CPCs) to operate in Nigeria, stressing that, banks are expected to patronise only these registered companies for CIT and sorting services.

Expressing the desire of the CBN for more private sector participation in currency management system, the CBN Governor, said: “It is expected therefore that more private sector participation in the currency management value chain would further strengthen the efforts toward ensuring availability of clean banknotes”.

He further disclosed that “the CBN 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.

These guidelines provide for the operation of CITs and CPCs at both National and Regional levels.

It is hoped that this would encourage unregistered companies to come under the regulatory purview of the Central Bank and ensure a nationwide coverage of these services.”

Speaking on the importance of the Clean Note Policy and the Banknote Fitness guidelines, Emefiele said: “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.

“The effective use of these documents by relevant stakeholders would ensure that banknotes in circulation are clean and of high quality. Characteristics that is key to sustaining public confidence in the national currency.”

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