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New Naira: Emefiele briefs Buhari, says no going back, President happy

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Thursday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the new Naira in Daura and announced that there is no going back on the issuance of the new bank notes, as part of the CBN cashless policy.

Legislators in the National Assembly have expressed some concerns about the policy but the CBN boss said that it was in the interest of the Nigerian economy and should be supported by well-meaning members of the Nigerian public.

According to Mr. Emefiele, the Nigerian payment system has been deepened enough for the cashless policy, announced about 10 years ago.

He told journalists in an interview after the visit, “I am visiting the President to brief him as part of the normal briefing that we do.

“I have come to brief the President on what is happening at the Central Bank and the economy in general. Issues bordering on the new currency. Mr. President is happy with us and told us to carry on with our work, no need to fear, no need to worry about anybody.

“Only yesterday, the new naira notes reached the banks and we expect the banks to begin to distribute it to members of the Public who are their customers.”

Asked if the CBN would change the policy given the concerns expressed by the federal legislators, Mr. Emefiele said, “I am aware that they have asked for some briefings and we will brief them.

“But it is important for me to say that the policy started in 2012 but we had to step down the policy three or four times because we felt that there was need for us and to deepen our payment system in Nigeria” CBN boss said.

“Between 2012 and now, we believe that a lot of the electronic channels have been put in place to help people in conducting banking business in Nigeria.

“In rural areas , we have 1. 4 million Super Agents in all LGs. We will publish the names of all these Super Agents on CBN website.

“We need to lip frog the cashless policy. We will not allow the situation where over 85 percent of the cash that is in circulation is outside the banking system.

“More and more countries, have gone into cashless . This is not targeted at anybody. It is just for the good of the Nigerian economy, and we can only appeal to Nigerians to see this policy the way we have presented it.

“We will be reviewing it from time to time. We are not going to be rigid. But that is not to say that we will reverse. We are not going to change the timing.

“if it is to review the amount to be a little bit higher or a little bit lower, we are going to do so because we do not want to make life difficult for our people.

“So there is no need for anybody to worry. CBN is monitoring what is happening and I can assure you that we will do what is right for Nigeria and for Nigerians.

“CBN and bank have taken about a trillion. Moved more people from other departments to Currency Processing, so that they can process this cash as quickly as possible so that banks can now move what they have with them Department to the CBN.”

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