Following the Naira Scarcity in Nigeria, GoldenNewsNg has compiled Latest CBN News and Update on Naira Notes Today 15th April 2023.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA), in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), conducted a one-day sensitization workshop at the NOA headquarters on January 9th, 2023. The workshop aimed to build the capacity of NOA Directors for effective communication and information dissemination of CBN’s policies, programmes, and contents on Naira redesign.
With the deadline of January 31, 2023, for the current series of N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to remain a legal tender, and the need for effective public sensitization about the new currency notes, the partnership between NOA and CBN is timely. The collaboration involves building the capacity of NOA staff and subsequent advocacy, sensitization, and enlightenment campaigns on the Naira redesign across the country.
The workshop was attended by NOA Directors from the headquarters, 36 states, and FCT, as well as four Directors of the CBN. Both physical and virtual participation were available for the training.
The Director of Currency Operation, Mr. Umar Bello, facilitated the presentation session, which aimed to create awareness and deepen the understanding of the concept of Naira redesign amongst the participants.
CBN Slams N2 Million Fine on Erring Banks Over Dormant Accounts
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has mandated commercial banks in Nigeria to adhere to its guidelines on managing dormant accounts and unclaimed balances. Failure to comply with the directive will result in a fine of at least N2 million. Additionally, the CBN will impose a daily fine of N200,000 until full compliance is achieved.
The CBN has defined a bank account as dormant if it remains inactive for at least one year without any customer-initiated transactions for six months after the last transaction. The guidelines are aimed at clarifying the process for managing dormant and inactive accounts by Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria.
According to the guidelines, commercial banks or financial institutions are responsible for maintaining the cost of managing inactive and dormant accounts, including contacting customers and giving periodic reports on the accounts. When accounts become dormant, banks must notify account owners in writing via an agreed medium, such as emails, text messages, and letters.
The CBN intends to mop up funds in dormant accounts and invest them in Treasury Bills. The guidelines were issued in response to the request of commercial banks and other stakeholders seeking clarification on managing dormant accounts and unclaimed balances.
Access, First Bank, UBA and Other Commercial Banks Search for Cash, Borrow Billions from CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria has provided N240.57 billion in short-term liquidity to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), including Access Bank, First Bank, and United Bank of Africa, through its Standing Lending Facility (SLF). The SLF is a tool for managing liquidity that allows commercial banks to invest excess funds overnight and balance any shortages in the system at the end of each business day. According to CBN data, SLF borrowing by DMBs increased by 204.71% to N240.57 billion as of April 11, 2023, which may have been due to the currency redesign policy that led to cash shortages. Commercial banks need cash to fund their operations, pay customers, issue loans, and make investments, among other things. Muda Yusuf, CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, stated that banks’ frequent visits to the CBN lending window are due to the strict monetary policy environment, but it is a backup plan that banks can rely on if they face short-term liquidity issues.
Loan App Owners Speak as FG Restrains Digital Banks From Accessing Customers’ Photos, Contacts
From May 31, digital banks, payment platforms, and loan apps will be unable to access customers’ photos and contacts due to a new Google policy update and Federal Government directives. This will affect loan app owners such as Kuda Bank and Opay, who have been instructed to comply with the revised policy or be removed from Google’s store. Ngozi Dozie, the Co-founder of Carbon, has expressed concern about the impact of this policy on digital lenders. In a blog post published on April 11, 2023, he argued that while the policy has good intentions, it could stifle innovation and hinder the efforts of fintech firms in driving financial inclusion. He also pointed out that loan apps are treated differently from digital banking apps, even though they have similar operations. Despite some loan apps abusing access to customers’ data, Dozie believes that Google’s policy implementation lacks nuance and could harm smaller companies. He called for a more balanced approach that considers the needs of both consumers and fintech firms.
CBN makes adjustments as Naira exchanges at an all-time low against US dollar
It is possible that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reduced the official exchange rate of the Naira against the US dollar. Since April 1, 2023, the Naira has been trading at a historically low rate against the dollar, surpassing N463. This is a contrast to the previous months’ exchange rate, which was within the range of N461 to a dollar.
Naira Redesign Was Done In The Interest Of Nigerians – CBN Declares
During the 34th Enugu International Trade Fair, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Dr. Abdulmumin Isa, stated that the naira redesign policy was implemented in the best interest of Nigerians and was a step in the right direction.
He also mentioned that the redesign led to stability in the exchange rate and supported security agencies in combating banditry and ransom-taking.
Mr. Esu Imoh, Assistant Director of Corporate Communications, represented the CBN Director and highlighted that the redesign adheres to international best practices. In response to the growing usage of online banking facilities by Nigerians, the CBN confirmed that the Nigerian payment system infrastructure is sufficiently robust to handle the increasing pressure.
However, Mr. Jasper Nduagwuike, the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries, and Agriculture, expressed concern over the recent increase in interest rates to 18 percent, which was an aggressive move by the CBN to contain Nigeria’s inflationary pressure. He cautioned that this high interest rate regime could negatively impact businesses’ access to bank credit.
Although they commended the CBN’s measures to rebuild stronger business confidence and ensure stability in the economy, particularly in the financial/banking sector, Mr. Nduagwuike advised the CBN to utilize the grace period for full implementation of the naira redesign and cashless policy as directed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.