CBN permits DMBs to swap new, old naira notes across LGAs

Marcus Amudipe
Marcus Amudipe


The Central Bank of Nigeria has permitted Deposit Money Banks, Money Operators, and super agents to swap the old notes in local government areas to accelerate circulation of the new notes.

This strategy would increase the availability of new notes and ensure that people don’t lose their money.

This was stated in a circular titled “Naira Redesign Policy: CBN Launches Cash Swap Programme in Rural/Underserved Areas” that was released on Friday and jointly signed by the directors of the banking supervision department, Haruna B Mustafa and the director of the payment system management department, Musa Jimoh.

According to the circular, the policy would be effective from Monday, January 23, 2022. It says, “In recognition of the need to maximise the channels through which underserved and rural communities can exchange their Naira, the Bank is launching a cash swap programme in partnership with Super Agents and DMBs. The programme enables citizens in rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial services to exchange old Naira notes for redesigned notes.

“The agent shall exchange a maximum of N10,000 per person. Amounts above N10,000 may be treated as cash-in deposit into wallets or bank accounts in line with the cashless policy. BVN, IN, or Voter’s card details of the customers should be captured as much as possible.

“To promote financial inclusion, this service is also available to anybody without a bank account. Agents may, on request, instantly open a wallet or account, leveraging the CBN Tiered KYC Framework. This will ensure that this category of the populace is able to exchange or deposit their cash seamlessly without taking unnecessary risk or incurring undue cost.”

Also, in these statements the agent is poised with the responsibility of sensitizing and educating customers on wallets/ bank accounts opening and the different methods and pathways to carrying out electronic transactions.

In adherence to the policy governing the Revised Cash Withdrawal Limit, designated agents are qualified to get the redesigned notes from MBs. Although agents are not allowed to charge customers any additional commissions for this service, they are allowed to impose cash-out fees for cash exchange transactions. The circular also emphasized on receiving weekly reports about the cash exchange transactions must be submitted by agents to their approved banks. Every week, MBs are required to submit the same to the CBN.

Furthermore, the CBN said “Principals (Super Agents, MMOs, DMBs) shall be held accountable for their agents’ adherence to the above guidelines. Cash Swap agents will be readily identifiable in all local governments, particularly those in rural areas. The CBN will continue to monitor implementation of the programme and provide further guidance as may be necessary,”

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