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CBN educates traditional leaders, communities, and markets in Ebonyi on cash swaps.

The weekend saw the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) visiting traditional chiefs, local markets, and villages throughout Ebonyi State to conduct a cash swap and banknote sensitization operation.

In order to give market women and small-time traders access to the new Naira notes, the exercise was conducted at the Eke Okosi Okwu market in Ohaozara, the Afo Eneagu Market in Onicha Local Government Areas, and other rural areas in Ebonyi.

The sensitization session was made available to community members at the palace of Odenigbo I of Okposi Okwu Community in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State, HRH Eze Onyibe Chukwu Agwu.

The cash swapping and sensitization program were among the measures already taken by Nigeria’s apex bank to help rural residents have full knowledge of the country’s policy on the newly designed Naira banknotes, according to Chika Nwanja, the CBN’s deputy director of development finance in Abuja, who spoke at the event.

He said that the CBN team had visited several communities throughout the 13 council areas of the State to inform the public about the new Naira notes and the expiration date for the use of the previous notes, including the N1,000, N500, and N200 notes.

“Today we started at the palace of Odenigbo I of Okosi Okwu, Eze Onyibe Chukwu Agwu to sensitize his cabinet and other community people to be aware of the new Naira notes,” Nwanja said.

We have underlined the necessity for individuals to use numerous financial channels, including banks and Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF), to pay in their old currencies and obtain new ones in order to prevent losses, particularly for market women and minor traders.

“Some members of the public may not be fully aware of the newly created currencies, so this sensitization is important.”

Nwanja, who was present with Dr. Elias Uduaja, the CBN Deputy Director on the Research Department in Abuja, Nnamdi Okeh, the CBN Manager in Ebonyi State, Chioma Sebastian, the CBN Senior Supervisor in Abuja, and the financial agents of the Point of Sale (POS), took the cash swapping and sensitization program to the Eke Okosi Okwu market in Ohaozara, Afo Eneagu

The CBN team maintained that “the CBN is on top of it, which is why we are coming directly to the people in their local communities,” even though they acknowledged the difficulties that these redesigned currencies presented to the general public, particularly the locals who have been complaining about one issue or another.

The team stated that the local population needed to be made aware of how Nigeria’s central bank operated because the CBN has outlined methods to control the fees its money agents charge clients at their POS terminals.

The traditional ruler of the Okposi Okwu, Eze Onyibe Chukwu Agwu, and his counterpart of the Okposi Kingdom, Eze Onyibe Cosmas Agwu, among other community stakeholders, described the introduction of the new Naira notes as a welcome development and urged the general public to abide by the CBN’s rules.

Based on the CBN officials’ comments, they stated that widespread use of the new currencies would significantly lower financial crimes, particularly kidnappers’ requests for ransom and criminals’ counterfeiting of the naira.

A few of the community’s key players, including the traditional leader Ijeoma Okoronkwo and Ijeoma Emmanuel, two local market women and petty traders, among others, complained about the difficulties they faced, including being unable to access bank officials for transactions due to crowds in their banks, paying high fees to POS agents for cash exchange, not having access to bank accounts, and more.

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