The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is now running a cash swap program, but Nigerians living abroad are not included in it, thus they are stuck using the old banknotes. No provisions have been made for them to participate in the scheme.
The CBN’s efforts to expedite the adoption of its naira redesign initiative include the cash swap program. Agency banking, which enables banks to provide their banking services without traditional branches in locations where access to financial services is difficult, enables the CBN to facilitate the distribution of the new naira notes throughout Nigeria’s local government areas and unbanked communities.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, revealed in December that more than 80% of the currency in circulation was not kept in commercial banks’ vaults and that the naira redesign strategy will help with cash mop-up.
“Some of the characteristics of a great Central Bank are the integrity of a local legal money, the effectiveness of its supply as well as its efficacy in the conduct of monetary policy.
According to Emefiele, revamping the N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes will undoubtedly lower cash management costs, lower the amount of cash in circulation, stop counterfeiting attempts, and increase the adoption of digital and electronic transactions.
Some Nigerians living abroad have expressed dissatisfaction with the cash swap scheme since there is no mechanism for them to exchange their old banknotes for new ones. The CBN has stated that all old N1000, N500, and N200 notes will no longer be accepted as legal tender after February 10.
Colin Udoh, a Nigerian living in the United States, has asked the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to get involved because many Nigerians living abroad are stuck with outdated currency and no nowhere to swap it.