Why CBN exclude Lagos and Abuja PoS and mobile money agents from new notes swap

Na seven days remain for Nigerians to return dia old N1000, N500, and N200 naira notes for banks, Mobile Money Operator and Point of Sales (Pos) agents and collect di new notes.

To make di process of di cash swap easy di Central Bank of Nigeria launch di cash swap programme on Friday, especially for pipo wey dey rural areas wey no get easy access to banking halls.

But Mobile Money Operator and Point of Sales (PoS) agents for Nigeria capital Abuja and di commercial capital Lagos no follow for di pipo wey fit do di cash swap.

Di Central Bank of Nigeria tok why Lagos and Abuja no follow inside one document wey dem release to Mobile Money Operator and Point of Sales agents on Monday 23 January, 2023.

Di document ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ cari di guidelines for di cash swap wey say no be all States and agents fit do di cash swap.

“Selected agents for all di 36 states (except Lagos state and FCT, Abuja). Lagos and Abuja agents dey excluded from dis.”

Lagos and Abuja no follow sake of say na ogbonge urban centres dem be, banks full evriwia and oda financial exchange platforms and internet banking dey work well well.

“No be all agents fit participate. Dis dey open to only selected agents wey di super agent/MMO/bank don profile and submit to di Central Bank of Nigeria and participating banks.

Di agents no go fit use di new aira notes for dia regular business except for di cash swap programme.

Bank agents wey get accreditation

Di document also tok say only five banks get approval to do di cash swap. Di banks na: Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and First City Monument Bank.

Na only from dis banks agents go fit collect new notes “from one of these designated banks (Zenith, First Bank, Access, UBA, FCMB). However, you must get bank account wit di bank and your operators (super agent/MMO/bank) go don pre-register you wit di bank wia you get account.”

Di CBN tok insde di document say, “you must go to di bank you have informed operator (super agent/MMO/bank) of. Na dia dem go submit your agent details for verification wen you reach dia to collect di new notes.”

Also, di name of evri agent, BVN number, and operator name dey required before dem go release di new notes.

Di bank go also verify di picture and finger print of di agent. Di CBN also note say evri agent dey expected to get di record of dia customer ‘Know-Your-Customer’ information, wey include name, phone number, bank, account number and amount.

How much you fit swap wit agents

Inside di document , CBN no tok di particular amount pesin fit swap at a time, but na only N10,000 di Mobile Money Operator or Point of Sales (PoS) fit released per customer.

Dis na becos only N500,000 naira new notes di Mobile Money Operators and Point of Sales agents go get evri week under di programme.

Di agents go also record all di transactions dem do wit di new notes and submit di record to di operator (super agent/MMO/bank).

CBN also draw ear give di cash swap agents say make dem no use di maoney for any oda transactions else dem go sanction dem.

“Severe sanctions such as de-listing as an agent, withholding of any applicable benefit, de-list from future programmes, negative report to bank & CBN and oda such penalties go dey as directed by regulatory authorities.”

Meanwhile Money agents don begin tell dia customers wey wan do cash swap to prepare before dem come.

Inside one memo one of di accredited Banks dey tell dia agents, to collect BVN, NIN, or voter’s card details from customers wey dem dey pay new notes.

“Di Swap go dey in form of PoS withdrawals only of not more dan N10,000 per person. Make una no pay any withdrawal of more dan N10,000 per person wit new notes.

“Agents also dey permitted to charge cash-out fees for di cash swap transactions but dey prohibited from charging any further commissions to customers for dis service.

 “Make you collect BVN, NIN or voters card details from customers you pay wit new notes for weekly submissions to di CBN.

“Di CBN go continue to monitor implementation of di programme and provide further guidance as may be necessary.”

Di cash swap programe of di CBN start on Monday, 23 January 2023 and na enable pipo wey dey stay for rural areas or pipo wey no get access to formal financial services to exchange old naira notes for di new notes.

Di CBN say na to promote financial inclusion, and na also for pipo wey no get bank account and agents fit open wallets/bank accounts on any of di channels for electronic transactions.

Challenges wey pipo dey face to get new notes


Naziru Medile na Point of Sales agent for Kano State , northern Nigeria wey no dey accredited for di cash swap programme

Since di new naira notes begin circurlate from last month, Nigerians still dey find am hard to access di new notes.

Complains brekete for urban areas like Abuja di Nigeria capital, Lagos di Commercial capital, Port Harcourt di oil hub and Kano, as citizens say dem go bank to return dia old notes but ATM still dey bring out old notes.

Some complain say di few ATMs wey dey try give out di new notes dey give N1000 and N500 naira notes and di lower denomination of N200 dey scare well well.

Some churches, schools and business places don already announce deadline wey dem go stop to collect di old notes, wey dey earlier dan di official CBN deadline of 31 January, 2023.

Dis deadlines don make pipo eyes dey red as dem don dey find all means to return dia old notes, and how dem go take survive if dem no fit change am before di deadline.


Julie Ibiama na petty trader for di oil rich Port Harcourt city, Southern Nigeria

“ATM wey I go dis morning still dey pay di old notes so I no know how we want do am. Ma I neva even see how di new money be not to tok of to get am,” na so one Port Harcourt resident Clarice Abbey tell BBC.

For Julie Ibiama wey be petty trader, she say na still di old naira notes her customers still dey bring for her as di new money still dey scarce.

E never dey clear if CBN go extend di deadline as plenti Nigerians dey hope now.