In its bid to check the circulation of counterfeit and mutilated Naira notes in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided a helpline to which those who receive such can complain for remedial action.
In a series of tweets via its official Twitter handle at the weekend, the CBN urged those with complaints to call its “Contact Centre on +2347002255226.”
Nigerians have for years complained of receiving Naira notes that later turn out to be counterfeit through banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
While urging customers to “return unfit and mutilated Naira notes to (their) bank and any Central Bank of Nigeria branch office,” the apex bank charged them to report through the helpline, where any “bank refuses to accept (such) unfit and mutilated notes from you.”
For clarity, the CBN described “a mutilated Naira note (as) a banknote, partially or permanently damaged by fire, water, dye, insects, torn or destroyed by natural disaster and clearly more than half of the original size.”
The apex bank recently announced a three-month window from June 3 to September 2, 2019, for banks to replace mutilated Naira notes across the country with new ones.
The directive follows the failure of banks to heed previous directives.
Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac Okoroafor, was reported as announcing the directive during sensitisation session for stakeholders in the Southwest, including labour unions.
He assured that there is a CBN department set up to listen to customers’ complaints, if banks refuse to heed the order, adding that the move became imperative due to infractions noticed from some banks in the way new notes are being handled.
He lamented that the CBN resorted to replacing lower denomination notes across the country by going through the local markets and transport unions, instead of the banks, because of the approach of some banks to the issue.
According to him, the cashless policy that was stopped due to infrastructure deficits will soon return, as telecommunication firms have been empowered to become Payment Service Banks (PSB).