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Naira Hoarding: We’ll Go Into Banks’ Strong Rooms, Says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said it will go into strong rooms of Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, in the bid to ensure the country’s new Naira notes are not being hoarded.

This came on a day the Department of State Services announced the arrest of syndicates behind scarcity of the new notes.

The DSS in a statement by its spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said members of the syndicates fingered officials of Deposit Money Banks in the business of selling the new Naira notes.

Making the position of the CBN known on the move to check the strong rooms of the DMBs on Monday in Port Harcourt was its Branch Controller in Rivers State, Maxwell Okafor.

Okafor, who assured that the direct swap would last till the deadline on Naira exchange, said: “The sincere truth is that the situation is not smooth.

“Many of the banks are making the process too cumbersome.

“For us to enter the bank today to assist these PoS operators, it took a lot of pain.

“I wonder if Nigerians go through these pains when we are here, what happens when we are not here.

“For hoarding, we will need further exercise to establish that.

“It means we have to go into their strong rooms, check how they disbursed what they have, ATM, individuals before we can establish that.

“But the process is slow and we are pleading with banks to make the process easier.”

On the direct cash swap in Rivers State, Okafor said”: “Tomorrow, we are going to Buguma, Omoku, Ahoada, Oyigbo, Onne, Eleme.

“So we will gradually cover all the hinterland of the state to make sure we exchange money directly for people, especially those who do not have bank accounts.

“We are going to cover all local government areas in the state.

“It is unfortunate, anybody not able to exchange his own before the deadline will lose his money, but we are augmenting efforts of the banks to make sure as much as possible, everybody has the opportunity to exchange the old Naira.”

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