By AKEEM ABAS
IBADAN- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has charged Nigerians to ensure they deposit the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes in their various banks before the Jan. 31 deadline.
Mrs Olufolake Ogundero, the CBN Branch Controller in Oyo State, gave the charge on Thursday during the sensitisation programme held across markets in the state.
Recall that the CBN had introduced newly designed N200, N500 and N1000 notes with a directive that all old notes be out of circulation by Jan. 31.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the apex bank’s sensitisation train which took off from the popular Dugbe market, went through Aleshinloye, Bodija, Gbagi and other major markets in Ibadan.
NAN reports that the sensitisation train is also expected to visit the markets in the five other zones of the state, namely, Ogbomoso, Oyo, Ibarapa, Oke-Ogun I and Oke-Ogun II.
Ogundero said that the sensitisation programme was aimed at enlightening the traders on the new naira notes and why they must deposit the old notes before the Jan. 31 deadline.
She said that the CBN had dispensed lot of the new naira notes to the banks.
The branch controller allayed fears of non-availability of the new naira notes in circulation, saying commercial banks had been instructed to load them in the Automated Teller Machines(ATMs).
Ogundero said banks that failed to comply with CBN’s directive would be sanctioned.
“The Jan. 31st is still the deadline for all Nigerians to deposit the old naira notes in the banks. The CBN is doing everything within its capacity to make the new notes available for banks to dispense through ATMs.
“The banks have been instructed to load the new naira notes in ATMs. We are conducting spot-check to make sure that banks dispense the new notes through ATMs.
“We have visited some ATMs and I can assure you that banks which failed to comply with CBN directives would be sanctioned,” she said.
Some of the traders who spoke to newsmen complained on the availability of the new naira notes, saying they were not in circulation as expected.
Alhaji Isiaka Onibode, a trader at Aleshinloye market, called on the CBN to extend the Jan. 31 deadline for the notes to circulate as expected.
He promised to also enlighten other traders on the need to deposit the old naira notes before the Jan. 31 deadline.
Also, Rahmon Adebowale, a trader at Dugbe market, appreciated the beauty of the newly designed naira notes, but said they was yet to be well circulated.
“I have sold goods this morning and was paid with old notes. I was in the bank yesterday where someone deposited the old naira notes.
“He was asked to withdrawal from the ATM to get the new notes,” he said.(NAN)