Residents of some communities in Gombe State have hailed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) currency swap initiative.
The initiative is aimed at exchanging old naira notes for redesigned notes while promoting financial inclusion.
They gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaltungo and Billiri communities of Kaltungo and Billiri Local Government Areas of the State.
The currency swap was inaugurated on Monday by the apex bank to enable citizens in rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial services to exchange old naira notes for redesigned notes.
Mrs Janet James, a teacher from Kalargu community in Kaltungo LGA described the initiative as a solution to the challenges they had been experiencing while trying to deposit their old notes.
James said she was happy that she was able to exchange her old notes with ease as against the long queues in banks and Point of Sale (POS) centres.
“I and some of my colleagues have been at the bank since morning but couldn’t exchange our old notes but coming to do it with ease makes me happy.
“I am calling my colleagues now to come over to swap their old notes for the newly redesigned notes.
“CBN has done well and we are very grateful. They should continue with the good work.”
On the cashless policy of CBN, James said “I have accepted it.”
For Mr Joab Lepes, a civil servant with Gombe State Civil Service who lives in Kaltungo, said he was excited he was able to exchange his old notes at his convenience.
Lepes said “earlier today (Tuesday), I found it difficult to buy things I needed as traders refused to collect the old notes.
“Now I can go and get the drugs I need, so I commend the CBN for bringing the new notes to our community.
“Kudos to the CBN and I also want to encourage them to make the newly redesigned notes available to POS agents and banks for easy access.”
Lepes advised residents to take advantage of the initiative to exchange their old notes and not wait till the deadline while also encouraging those without banks to embrace the cashless policy of CBN.
Another resident of Kaltungo community, Usman Dauda, a trader said he had experienced some challenges trying to exchange his old notes since Monday.
Dauda commended the CBN for the initiative while urging the apex bank to increase the amount, adding that N10, 000 maximum limit was not enough for traders.
In Billiri, Mrs Josheba Angiu, a farmer said she had spent two days trying to exchange her old naira notes for the new notes but could not, however, “today I did it with ease.”
Angiu said the currency swap initiative was good but expressed her concerns over the late introduction of the initiative which she described as a game changer for rural dwellers.
NAN reports that CBN officials while monitoring the process took time to sensitise residents on the need to embrace the CBN cashless policy as well as open bank accounts to deposit huge amount of money.