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January 31 Deadline: CBN Creates Cash Swap Centres For Rural Dwellers as Agents Storm LGAs Monday

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has inaugurated Cash Swap Centres across the 774 Local Government Ares of the country

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Godwin Emefiele - Investors King

With a view to meeting up with its January 31 deadline for the return of the N1000, N500 and N200 old naira notes to the banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has inaugurated Cash Swap Centres across the 774 Local Government Ares of the country.

Investors King had reported that a few days before the expiration of the deadline, banks and Automated Teller Machines were still dispensing old notes despite warnings of sanctions by the CBN.

According to the apex bank, these newly created centres would be controlled by some officials of the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Mobile Money Operators, Super Agents and other financial agents.

These agents are expected to attend to people in rural communities, especially those whose locations are far from urban areas where most banks are situated for them to return their old cash.

Also, Nigerians, especially rural dwellers who don’t operate bank accounts could approach these agents for the purpose of opening a wallet for their money to be kept.

The establishment of these centres was contained in a circular issued by the apex bank on Saturday.

The CBN, in the circular signed by Haruna Mustafa and Musa Jimoh, Directors of Banking Supervision and Payments Systems respectively and dated January 20, 2023, it indicated that the Cash SWAp Centres would commence operations on Monday, January 23.

According to the circular addressed to Mobile Money Operators, Super Agents and other Agents,  the exercise would enable rural dwellers to seamlessly change their old Naira Notes for the redesigned ones and to also save them the stress of traveling far.

The circular reads, “In furtherance of its Naira Redesign policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sustained its nationwide awareness/sensitization programmes, enforced speedy collection of the new notes at CBN branches by the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and mandated issuance of the new notes through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to ensure distribution is fair, transparent and evenly spread across the country.

“In addition to these measures and in recognition of the need to maximise the channels through which underserved and rural communities can exchange their Naira, the Bank is launching a cash swap programme in partnership with Super Agents & DMBs. The programme enables citizens in rural areas or those with limited access to formal financial services to exchange old Naira notes for redesigned notes.”

On how the centres would operate, CBN said the old N1000, N500, N200 notes can be exchanged for the newly redesigned notes and/or the existing lower denominations (N100, N50 and N20, etc) which remain legal tender, adding that  “the agent shall exchange a maximum of N10,000 per person. Amounts above N10,000 may be treated as cash-in deposit into wallets or bank accounts in line with the cashless policy. BVN, NIN, or Voter’s card details of the customers should be captured as much as possible.”

The apex bank further noted that “to promote financial inclusion, this service is also available to anybody without a bank account.”

It said that agents may, on request, instantly open a wallet or account, leveraging the CBN Tiered KYC Framework, adding that, “this will ensure that this category of the populace are able to exchange or deposit their cash seamlessly without taking unnecessary risk or incurring undue cost.”

According to the circular, agents shall create awareness to customers and sensitise them on opening wallets/bank accounts and the various channels for conducting electronic transactions.

It added that designated agents are eligible to collect the redesigned notes from DMBs in line with the Revised Cash Withdrawal Limit policy and that agents are also permitted to charge cash- out fees for the cash swap transactions.

Announcing that agents are prohibited from charging any further commissions to customers for this service, the CBN directed the agents to ensure that they render weekly returns to their designated banks regarding the cash swap transactions.

It also mandated DMBs to, in turn, account for same to the CBN on a weekly basis.

The CBN stated that principals of the service including Super Agents, MMOs, DMBs shall be held accountable for their agents’ non-adherence to the above guidelines.

It informed Nigerians in the rural communities to watch out for the Cash Swap agents in their neighbourhood as from Monday, adding that it would ensure that the centres were monitored for effective implementation.

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Finance

Scarcity of Naira Worsens at Nigerian Banks as Customers Shun Cash Deposits

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New Naira Notes

Since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the extension of deadline for return of the old naira notes, checks by Investors King has revealed that most Nigerians have refused to deposit money in the banks.

This development was said to have been triggered by the low circulation of the resigned N1000, N500 and N200 naira notes and inability of the nation’s commercial banks to load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the new notes.

Investors King had reported that CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had directed commercial banks to ensure they load there ATMs with the new notes.

However, banks have not lived up to expectations even as reports of naira racketeering rock the financial institutions.

Most ATMs have been witnessing crowds as customers fight their way out on long queues to withdraw cash.

At various banking halls across the country, activities of financial transactions have decelerated drastically as customers complain of lack of cash.

While most banking halls were desolated as a result of paucity of funds in bank vaults, the few banks that were said to be preparing to load their ATMs were beseiged by frustrated customers, mostly operators of Pont of Sales (PoS).

Customers who visited bank counters to withdraw cash said they were given lower denominations such as N5, N10 and N20.

A bank official disclosed that the CBN had restricted commercial banks from to paying denominations lower than N200 notes owing to scarcity of new notes and to also discourage the spending of the larger denominations.

Confirming lack of cash to pay customers, the Chairman of the National Association of Microfinance Banks, Osun State chapter, Tunde Lawal, said the situation has led to the collapse in operations of many of the banks.

There was confusion at a microfinance bank in Osogbo early Thursday when some aggrieved customers threatened protest as bank officials flee. They had claimed that the bank was not attending to them.

Meanwhile, operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have started monitoring the cash disbursement exercise in Bauchi State as the agency noted that the operation would spread across the country.

The joint taskforce comprising operatives of the ICPC and its sister anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and some officials of the apex bank was said to have been necessitated following reports of hawking of the new notes by black marketers.

The Lagos and Ondo States Chambers of Commerce, Industry have said the implementation of the new naira policy introduced by the CBN was designed to run micro small and medium enterprises and the common man out of business.

The spokesperson for the agency, Adeboro Onibalusi said the new policy has caused hardship for Nigerian Masses especially micro small and medium enterprises operators.

In a statement signed by the chambers’ Director-General, Chinyere Almona, the Lagos chapter noted that the CBN’s inability to properly plan and implement the phasing out of old naira notes has caused serious strain on many businesses.

 

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Banking Sector

Kuda Bank Says Customer Deposits Are Safe Despite Mobile App Issues

The fintech company assured that the application glitches will soon be fixed and customers will gain access to their money again.

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Kuda Bank - Investors King

Kuda Bank, a leading digital microfinance bank, has said there is no cause for alarm as their customers’ money is safe despite the mobile application issues.

The fintech company operating in Nigeria further assured that the application glitches will soon be fixed and customers will gain access to their money again.

Investors King gathered that currently, users of Kuda are having difficulties in accessing the bank app. Some have bitterly complained that their account balance reads zero despite having money in the account.

The Kuda bank management has, however, responded to the complaints by its customers through its official Twitter handle.

The digital bank admitted that the application was having issues and apologised to its customers for their inability to access their money or use the application adequately.

It stated that the company is aware of the mobile app malfunctioning, as well as the zero account balance error.

According to its statement, work is ongoing to rectify the issue and when properly completed, customers will be alerted. It stressed that their money has not been tampered with and the glitch will soon be resolved.

The company’s response on its Twitter handle, @joinkuda reads, “We are sorry that you still haven’t been able to use your Kuda app. 

“We are working with our cloud services provider to sort out the downtime, and we will let you know when it’s been fixed. Your money remains safe and you will be able to access it as soon as services are restored.

“We know that the ₦0.00 balance error reported by several people is worrying but we assure you that it’s just what the app is displaying because of the downtime, not the amount of money you actually have. We will keep sharing updates as we make progress.”

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Finance

Black Market Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate For Today 2nd February 2023

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New Naira notes

You can access the black market Dollar to Naira exchange rate for today, 2nd February on Investors King.

This online business news platform has obtained the official dollar to naira exchange rate in Nigeria today including the Black Market rates, Bureau De Change (BDC) rate, and CBN rates.

Note that the exchange rate changes hourly.… it depends on the volume of dollars available and the Demands. It means that…you can buy or sell 1 dollar at ₦745 and ₦750, and the price can change (high or low) within hours.

How Much Is Black Market Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today?

Dollar to naira exchange rate today black market (Aboki dollar rate):

Investors King understands that the exchange rate for a dollar to naira at Lagos Parallel Market (Black Market) players buy a dollar for N750 and sell at N755 as of the time of filing this report.

Exchange Rate of Dollar To Naira in Black Market Today?
Dollar to Naira (USD to NGN) Black Market Exchange Rate Today
Buying Rate 750
Selling Rate 755

The local currency opened at N755.00 per $1 at the parallel market otherwise known as the black market today Thursday, 2nd February 2023, in Lagos Nigeria, after it closed at N750 per $1 on Wednesday, 1st February 2023.

Even though the dollar to naira opened in the parallel market at N755 per $1 today, Investors King reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not recognize the parallel market, otherwise known as the black market. The apex bank has therefore directed anyone who requires forex to approach their bank, insisting that the I&E window is the only known exchange.

Investors King reports that in the black market, the players buy a dollar for N750 and sell for N755 on Thursday morning, February 2, 2023, after they purchased N745 and sold for N750 on Wednesday, 1st February 2023.

Meanwhile, Investors King reports that the USD started this week at ₦755 in Parallel Market also known as Black Market after it opened at  ₦757 last week Monday, January 23, 2023.

Factors Influencing Foreign Exchange Rates

Here are some of the causes of the dwindling dollar to naira exchange rate.

Inflation Rates: It is well known that inflation directly impacts black market exchange rates. If the Nigerian economy can be stabilized and inflation is controlled, the naira will benefit; however, if the naira continues to fall, it may indicate that food and other necessities are becoming more expensive daily.

Interest Rates: Another tool to keep an eye on is interest rates. If the interest rate at which banks lend money rises, it would harm the economy, causing it to contract and, as a result, the value of the naira to fall.

Government Debt: National debt can impact investor confidence and, as a result, the influx of funds into the economy. If inflows are high, the naira exchange rate will rise in favour of the naira.

Speculators: Speculators frequently impact the naira-to-dollar exchange rate. They stockpile money in anticipation of a gain, causing the naira to plummet even lower.

Conditions of Trade: Favorable trade terms will increase the value of the naira to the dollar, although Nigeria is currently experiencing a trade deficit. Everything comes from China, India, and the majority of Asian countries.

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