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NAIRA: CBN cancels cash swap programme in rural communities



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The cash swap programme of the CBN has been stopped in rural and unbanked areas.

  • Rural dwellers from unbanked areas can no longer swap old notes for the new ones through the CBN cash swap programme.

  • CBN says the programme has fulfilled its mandate.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has discontinued its cash swap program in unbanked and rural communities.

ENigeria learned that the CBN’s cash swap scheme no longer allows rural residents in unbanked areas to exchange their old notes for new ones.

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It was reported that Isa Abdulmumin, the acting spokesperson for the CBN, revealed the news by stating that the program had completed its purpose and had been discontinued by the central bank.

Recall that the CBN launched the cash swap program as part of its initiatives to encourage financial inclusion in order to allow Nigerians living in rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial institutions to exchange their old naira notes for the newly designed notes.

The apex bank in its bid to make the programme effective had excluded mobile money/Point of Sales (PoS) agents in Abuja and Lagos, emphasising that it was meant for people without a bank account.

However, in the latest development, the CBN acting spokesman said the programme was only for a while and not for a lifetime.

Abdulmumin submitted that, “The programme has stopped. The cash swap was not in perpetuity and has a lifeline.”

Money Agents Respond 

The Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) has responded to the news, claiming that the scheme was ineffective before it ended.

Oluwasegun Elegbade, the group’s national publicity officer, said that only a small number of participants in the program actually carried out its objectives, which would have prevented the recent attacks on banks.

Elegbade said, “The programme has not been really effective as it should. If it worked, we would not have witnessed the number of crises that erupted across the country.

“We expected more participation as far as the swap is concerned. The operators were given control over the whole thing with little monitoring.

“Without monitoring, many of the states just did as they wanted. The CBN only set up a monitoring team in less than five states. Overall, it wasn’t an effective initiative.”