Nobody allowed to build bank vaults at home – Emefiele

THE Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said that no Nigerian is licensed to build bank vaults at home.

The CBN governor, who spoke after the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja today, also said there is no going back on its January 31, 2023 deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.

He said there is no reason for the nation’s currency in circulation to rise from N1.4 trillion to N3.2 trillion in seven years, saying that some persons are hoarding the naira and embracing currency speculation.

“There is no reason why currency in circulation will grow from N1.4 trillion to N3.2 trillion in seven years,” the CBN governor said.

“People are hoarding it, people are keeping vaults in their homes. We cannot allow them to be banks in their homes; they don’t have the license to build bank vaults in their homes.

“They should release that money back to CBN because what they are doing is that they are undermining monetary policy. They are keeping it and speculating against our currency and it is making our work difficult in CBN.”

Emefiele also said the recent release of three redesigned naira notes has somehow reduced kidnapping and ransom-taking by armed men.

“Truly speaking, at the margin, I may be wrong, I think kidnapping and ransom-taking have somehow reduced. Security agents are doing a fantastic job.

“I think it (naira redesign) has slowed those people down because they know that if they collect old notes, nobody is going to collect it from them. So, it might as well as think of other ways.”

Emefiele noted that the CBN remained focus on the weak and the vulnerable in the society and would attend to them even after the deadline to ensure they have the new notes.

Emefiele also said he recently met with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governors Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe) and Mai Mala Buni (Yobe) and he told them that there is no going back on the January 31 deadline.

He said the CBN has 1.4 million super agents nationwide to collect old naira notes in exchange for new notes in riverine and upland areas, saying “money is going down and is circulating to the lower rung of the community”.

“We have 1.4 million points of our super agents; those agents are going to be available to conduct cash exchanges. The super agents are like kiosks, shops in your community, whether it is a riverine or upland area, they are there, selling sweets, selling kola nuts but they have been appointed as agents that will do cash exchange and cash swap for you. This, we have put in place,” he said.

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