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What Buhari Told Emefiele To Do As Calls To Halt Plan Heightens

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said on Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari was again satisfied with the ongoing development in the banking system.

According to the apex bank governor, the Nigerian leader told him yesterday to go on with the initial plan for a cashless policy and the deadline set for the roll-up of old naira notes.

Naija News reports that Emefiele met with Buhari yesterday at his hometown, Duara, in Katsina State.

The apex bank governor who spoke briefly after their meeting said Buhari gave the bank thumbs up and told it to not bother about what people are saying and press on with the new policy.

“He was very very happy and said we should carry on our work, no need to fear, no need to bother about anybody,” said Emefiele when asked to speak on the President’s response to his briefing.

Earlier, Emefiele said many electronic channels had been put in place in 10 years since the cashless policy was launched in 2012 to aid people in conducting banking and financial service transactions in Nigeria.

According to him, the cashless policy was stepped down on a number of occasions to fully prepare for the implementation of the policy and deepen the payment system infrastructure in Nigeria.

Emefiele maintained that Nigerians have until January 31, 2023, to deposit the old notes at their respective banks as it seized to be legal tender after then.

He explained that since the launch of the new naira notes and introduction of the new policy, about N1 trillion of the old notes had been returned to the banking system.

People In The Rural Areas

Responding to the call to consider people in the rural areas, Emefiele said on his way to Daura, he saw a kiosk that has a super agent.

He said people were only worried because of the way they felt that there was a need to deepen the payment system infrastructure. He said the bank has already over 1.4 million super agents that are all over different parts of the country, all local governments, and all villages in Nigeria.

“And I have told my colleagues some of their names are already on the CBN website, and we will publish all the names of all the super agents. We have super agents which are different from banks, microfinance banks, and other financial institutions.

“Having 1.4 million of them is as good as having 1.4 million banking points where people can conduct services. And we think, Nigeria is a big country, the biggest economy in Africa that we need to leapfrog into the cashless economy. We cannot continue to allow a situation where over 85 per cent of the cash that is in circulation is outside the bank. More and more countries that are embracing digitization have gone into cashless.”

He stressed that the new policy is not targeted at anybody as perceived by some Nigerians.

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