News making the rounds on Friday was that banks would stop collecting mutilated Naira notes after September 2nd, 2019 as that’s the deadline set for customers to deposit their mutilated Naira notes at the banks.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) was said to have sent out e-mails to its customers to this effect.
However, contrary to this claim, the Central Bank of Nigeria has revealed that the general public can continue to return mutilated banknotes to their banks after the September 2 deadline.
The Director, CBN Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor in an interview stated that people had been misinterpreting the story to say that the banks would stop collecting mutilated notes after September 2.
He said the deadline was only applicable to the banks and not the customers or the general public.
“The September 2, 2019 deadline does not apply to bank customers or the general public, who will continue to return mutilated notes to the banks. It only applies to the banks because free sorting of Naira notes for them will cease at the expiration of that deadline.”
Okoroafor emphasized that the CBN would begin to charge banks after September 2.
“We opened a window from June to September, so that when they bring the notes without sorting, we can sort it for them free. But as from September 2, if they get those notes, they need to sort it before they bring it to us.
“The deposit by customers and acceptance by commercial banks of mutilated notes is a normal and continuous banking practice and as such continues even after September 2. Anyone whose qualifying mutilated note is rejected by any bank should report such a bank to CBN by calling 07002255226 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily,” he said.
The CBN’s Clean Note Policy was announced in April this year in line with the effort of the apex bank to get rid of mutilated, defaced, and unfit naira notes from circulation. This initiative was lauded by several stakeholders, including the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, ABCON.