Borno border, rural communities reject old Naira notes – Zulum

Borno border, rural communities reject old Naira notes – Zulum

By Hamza Suleiman, Maiduguri.

 

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno says that the old naira notes are no longer acceptable in many rural areas across the state, particularly the border communities.

 

Zulum made this known on Friday in Maiduguri when he received a team of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials, who were in the state to monitor compliance with the bank policy on the new, redesigned naira notes.

 

He said that many border communities with trade relations with communities in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon republics were in dilemma, as their neighbours, who normally collected naira notes, now insisted the currencies must either be new notes or no business at all.

 

The governor said that many of such communities were now suffering, citing Kala-Balge Local Government Area, which had been inaccessible to vehicles for the past seven months due to difficult terrains and floods, as the new notes could not be taken to them.

 

Zulum, who also listed other areas affected by difficult terrain and insecurity in the state, pointed out that only Maiduguri city, Jere and Biu Local Government Areas had banks, making things difficult for the CBN policy to work in the state.

 

He also said the expectation of Nigerians from CBN was that when it commenced the policy in December, commercial banks would stop dispensing old notes but that was not the case.

 

“We are still receiving old notes. There is need for CBN to do justice to this matter.

 

“We are okay with the timeframe but what about the availability of the new notes?” Zulum queried.

 

While advising CBN to consider the peculiar state of Borno and others troubled by insecurity, the governor assured CBN of his administration’s support for efforts to address the problem in the state.

 

Earlier, Mr Mohammed Tumala, the Director, Statistics Department of CBN, who led the delegation to Borno, said that they were in the state to monitor compliance and ensure that the new notes reached everywhere before the deadline of Jan. 31.

 

Tumala said that the team had within the past two days visited all banks and ATM machines in Maiduguri to ascertain the level of compliance with the guidelines.

 

“We have observed high level of awareness in the population, while substantial compliance was recorded in commercial banks and we made efforts to resolve run-out cash problems of the banks,” he said.

 

Tumala, however, said that there was a plan peculiar to Borno, where agents would be deployed to areas without banks to collect deposits of the old notes from the communities.

 

He solicited adequate security and other logistics support for the success of the plan, which involved movement of large cash.

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