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Bureau De Change operators have given their support to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Clean Note Policy and Banknote Fitness Guidelines meant to remove dirty, mutilated and unfit naira notes in circulation from the financial system.
Speaking Tuesday with financial journalists in Lagos, Aminu Gwadabe, president, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), said the launch of the CBN Clean and Banknote Fitness Policy was not only apt, but timely giving the high volume of unfit and dirty notes in circulation across Nigeria.
He said the policy would discourage the attitude of the public in stashing naira notes in their homes and farms as witnessed recently.
The policy will also increase the level of money supply in the economy, and subsequently deepen the volume and value of credit available to real sector operators and other major segments of the economy, he said.
The policy entails diverse currency management plans geared towards the efficient circulation of premium quality banknotes and withdrawal of unfit/soiled banknotes. This, he said, will guarantee public confidence and usage of the naira banknotes as a medium of exchange.
According to Gwadabe, the move by the apex bank to sanitise the estimated N7.9 trillion pieces in circulation will enhance transparent currency management system, promote financial inclusion and enhance confidence of the informal sector in the financial system.
The ABCON boss said the CBN had through the new policy plans, demonstrated its commitment to seamless payment system, adding that the regulator had the obligation of providing adequate supply of clean banknotes to facilitate efficient payment and settlement of transactions by the public, government and banks.
The policy remains the first step in its bid to address the sorry state of the notes in circulation and create a new culture for better handling of the local currency, he said.
He explained that the clean note policy provides a uniform standard for the circulation of only clean and fit banknotes in the economy adding that the banknote fitness guidelines provide the industry with clear and acceptable criteria for determining the quality of notes in circulation.
He said the policy guidelines is backed by the Sections 18, 20 & 21 of the CBN Act 2007 which prohibits the counterfeiting, sale and abuse of the naira.
Gwadabe said ABCON, and its over 4,500 members will collaborate with the CBN to make the new policy a success.
He said the collaboration of deposit money banks (DMBs), merchant banks, Microfinance banks, government agencies, Cash-in- Transit ( CIT), Cash Processing Companies (CPCs), Market Associations, merchants/retailers, chambers of commerce and industry, security agencies, currency Management equipment manufacturers , bank customers and the general public is also needed for the policy to succeed.