The CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, or CBN, has stated that it will need to enter the safes of commercial banks in order to look for signs of possible hoarding and other unhealthy behaviors among the obstacles preventing individuals from accessing the new currency notes.

The CBN’s branch controller in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Maxwell Okafor, provided an overview of the continuing direct cash swap program for Rivers citizens, particularly those without bank accounts, yesterday.

The genuine fact is that the situation is not ideal, said Okafor, who had previously promised that the direct swap would continue until the deadline on the naira exchange. Many banks make the process far too complicated.

“For us to enter the bank today to assist these POS operators, it took a lot of pains. I wonder if Nigerians goes through this 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.”

“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 loose his money, but we are augmenting efforts of the banks to make sure as much as possible, everybody has opportunity to exchange the old naira.”

He stated, “Tomorrow, we are going to Buguma, Omoku, Ahoada, Oyigbo, Onne, and Eleme,” in reference to the direct cash swap in Rivers. In order to ensure that we exchange money directly for people, especially those who don’t have bank accounts, we will eventually cover the entire state’s hinterland.